Popular Music and the Poetics of Self in Fiction explores the various links between the self and popular music in contemporary fiction. In the novels discussed in this volume, musical references go far beyond creating a tapestry of sound, they make literary characters come alive by giving an account of the physiological and psychological effects of their musical experiences and of their ways of life in different (sub)cultural and social groups. With plots revolving around songs and albums, musicians and bands, and fans and scenes, the thematic focus on the self encompasses the relation of musical taste and identity construction, popular music’s function as a medium of individual and collective memory, and its uses in everyday life across decades, spaces, and genres.
Norbert Bachleitner is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Vienna, Austria. His fields of interest include the reception of English and French literature in the German speaking area, literary translation and transfer studies, the social history of literature, censorship, literature in periodicals, intertextuality, and digital literature. His most recent book publication is
Die literarische Zensur in Österreich von 1751 bis 1848 (2017).
Juliane Werner, Ph.D., is a member of the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Vienna, Austria. Her teaching and research focuses on transcultural exchanges (Austria, France, USA), philosophical fiction, literature and psychiatry, word and music studies, and literary animal studies. She is the author of
Thomas Bernhard und Jean-Paul Sartre (2016) and Existentialismus in Österreich. Kultureller Transfer und literarische Resonanz (2021).
Notes on Contributors
1 Popular Music and the Poetics of Self in Fiction
Juliane Werner, Norbert Bachleitner
part 1 Popular Music Styles, Taste, and (Fan) Identities 2 On the End(s) of Identity
Pop Music and the Fictional Self Claus-Ulrich Viol
3 The Three Ages of Fan
Identity, Irony, and Post-Postmodernism in Roddy Doyle’s Popular Music Narratives Jeffrey Roessner
4 Shaman or Messiah?
The Record Seller as a Higher Being in Virginie Despentes’s Vernon Subutex
5 Changing Infrastructures of Musical Taste Formation?
6 ‘Popularity is a game’
Music, Identity, and the Popular in Tom Cho’s Look Who’s Morphing
part 2 Cultural Contexts, Memoryscapes, and the Biographical Self 7 Montreal Bohemia and the Mile End Apartment Party Scene
8 Appropriations in Pop
Cultural Appropriation, Gentrification, and Retromania in Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude
, Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue,
and Paul Beatty’s Slumberland
9 A New Male Middle-Class Self?
Rock Music in Norwegian Novels, 1966–1984 Klaus Nathaus
10 Music, Media, and Memories in Serhiy Zhadan’s
Voroshilovgrad Hannah Schroder
11 An Alternative Jazz Biography
Ronald Pohl’s Kind aus Blau
12 Musical Self-Remembrance in Contemporary Literature
Reflections on Friedrich Christian Delius’s Die Zukunft der Schönheit
part 3 Intermedial Encounters, the Poetics of Pop, and Musician(s’) Fiction 13 How to Create a Unique Atmosphere in Fiction and Recorded Music
Frank Witzel and The Beatles Peter Apfl
14 Intermedial Resonances and Narrative Dissonances in Steve Earle’s Music and Literature