James Rovira

"Every thing that lives is holy…"

Chapter 7, Rock and Romanticism, Lexington Books

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Chapter 7 of Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 is “‘When the Light that’s Lost within Us Reaches the Sky’: Jackson Browne’s Romantic Vision,” pp. 95-110, by Gary L. Tandy, Chair and Professor of the English and Theater Departments, George Fox University.

“‘When the Light that’s Lost within Us Reaches the Sky’: Jackson Browne’s Romantic Vision” by Gary Tandy evaluates Jackson Browne’s music against the taxonomy provided by Löwy and Sayre in Romanticism Against the Tide of Modernity (2001) to argue that Browne is indeed a twentieth-century American Romantic poet. Exploring the themes of rejection of contemporary society, nostalgia for paradise lost, and a vision of paradise regained, Tandy sees in Browne’s musical career alternations between revolutionary and utopian Romantic anti-capitalisms. Browne rejects current socio-economic structures in his longing for a lost world, but at the same time actively advocates for change through a clearly defined agenda that he seeks to see materially and politically realized in his lifetime. Tandy’s compelling comparisons of Browne’s work to Wordsworth’s not only support his argument that Browne is a Romantic poet, but point out significant influence and identify Browne as an American reinvention of Wordsworth.

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