Dr Denis Flannery
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue
This module explores the place of literature in the work of the singer-songwriter, actor and visual artist, David Bowie (1947-2016). It also sets out to consider how that work embodies, questions, explores (and sometimes explodes) the status of ‘the literary’. Focusing on four key moments of Bowie’s career from 1971 to 2015, we will explore his relationship to the song as a literary and theatrical form alongside his reading of work by figures such as Bob Dylan, Jean Genet, Lou Reed and Andy Warhol. We will also consider how, from 1974 to 2002, Bowie’s making of ‘the album’ as a genre took place in dialogue with forms of writing that ranged from modernist fiction, poetry and philosophy, to psychoanalysis and the Broadway musical. The module will include a reading of Lazarus (2015), Bowie’s own embrace of the Broadway musical as a genre Using the skills of close reading and engaging with contemporary reflections on ‘surface’ or ‘just’ reading, the module will read Bowie’s work with theory on writing, reading and authorship by figures such as Roland Barthes, Jacques, Derrida, D. A. Miller, Sharon Marcus and Barbara Johnson. Throughout, it will explore questions of time, place and selfhood, sexuality and style, pleasure and politics, violence, psyches, change, and ‘the death of the author’.
TEXTS FOR PURCHASE
David Bowie, Hunky Dory [sound recording] (1971;EMI, 1999)
________Diamond Dogs [sound recording]. (1974, EMI, 1999)
________Heathen [sound recording] (Sony Music, 2002)
Various Artists, Lazarus : Original New York Cast. (RCA, 2016).
George Orwell, Nineteen eighty-four ISBN: 9780141187761, with an Introduction by Thomas Pynchon, (1949; Penguin Classics, 2004)
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Joyous Science, translated and edited by R. Kevin Hill (Penguin 2018)
Enda Walsh (with David Bowie), Lazarus : A Musical by David Bowie and Enda Walsh. Inspired by The Man who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis. ISBN: 9781848426269 (Nick Hern Books, 2016)
Module Booklet, available at cost-price, with extracts from/writings by (among others) Roland Barthes, Bob Dylan, Sigmund Freud, Jean Genet, Barbara Johnson, Sharon Marcus, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol.
PREPARATORY READING (not for purchase)
David Bowie is ISBN: 9781851777372 (hardback edition); 9781851777358 (paperback edition) . . . . Edited by Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh (V. & A. Publishing, London, 2013),
Walter Tevis, The Man who Fell to Earth ISBN: 9781473213111; 1473213118 (1963; Penguin, 2009)
Nicholas Pegg, The Complete David Bowie ISBN: 1785653652; 9781785653650 (pbk.) (Reynolds and Hearn, Seventh Edition, 2016)
This list was last updated on 20/08/2021