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Robert Johnson, Mythmaking, and Contemporary American Culture
by Patricia R. Schroeder
University of Illinois Press, 2004
eISBN: 978-0-252-09546-7 | Cloth: 978-0-252-02915-8
Library of Congress Classification ML420.J735S37 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 782.421643092

Mississippi bluesman Robert Johnson died young and left behind just twenty-nine recorded songs. But the legacy, legends, and lore surrounding him loom large in American music history.

Merging literary analysis with cultural criticism and biographical study, Patricia R. Schroeder explores Johnson's ongoing role as a cultural icon. Schroeder's detailed analysis engages key images and myths about the blues musician (such as the Faustian crossroads exchange of his soul for guitar virtuosity). Navigating the many competing interpretations that swirl around him, Schroeder reveals the cultural purposes served by the stories and the storytellers. The result is a fascinating examination of the relationships among Johnson's life, its subsequent portrayals, and the forces that drove the representations.

Offering penetrating insights into both Johnson and the society that perpetuates him, Robert Johnson, Mythmaking, and Contemporary American Culture is essential reading for blues fans and cultural critics interested in a foundational musical figure.

See other books on: 1911-1938 | Blues | Blues (Music) | Johnson, Robert | Mythmaking
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