James Rovira

"Every thing that lives is holy…"

Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2

Rock and Romanticism: Blake and Wordsworth, Book Cover
Taylor Fickes, cover photo. Fickes Photo.

NEW: Spotify playlists added. See link below.

The edited anthology Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (Lexington Books, 2018) is now available for preorder on the publisher’s website (linked above) and will ship in February of 2018. I’m providing information here for potential readers, reviewers, and college and university librarians who may be interested in this book. If you wish to review this anthology for your publication, please contact James Rovira at jamesrovira@gmail.com with your name, credentials, and the name of the publication for which you wish to review this work.

Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 is an edited anthology that seeks to explain how rock and roll is a Romantic phenomenon that sheds light, retrospectively, on what literary Romanticism was at its different points of origin and on what it has become in the present. This anthology allows Byron and Wollstonecraft to speak back to contemporary theories of Romanticism through Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Relying on Löwy and Sayre’s Romanticism Against the Tide of Modernity, it explores how hostility, loss, and longing for unity are particularly appropriate terms for rock as well as exploring the origins of these emotions. In essays ranging from Bob Dylan to Blackberry Smoke and U2’s Songs of Innocence, this work examines how rock and roll expands, interprets, restates, interrogates, and conflicts with literary Romanticism, all the while understanding that as a term “rock and roll” in reference to popular music from the late 1940s through the early 2000s is every bit as contradictory and difficult to define as the word Romanticism itself.

A bit of personal history: my introduction to Romanticism, particularly English Romanticism, occurred in two stages. First, through the song “William Blake” on the Daniel Amos album Vox Humana (1984). That song made to run to the local B. Dalton Booksellers (remember those?) and pick up a copy of The Viking Portable William Blake. I read it through the first time, cover to cover, in a befuddled haze, but I loved it. Daniel Amos, “William Blake,” Vox Humana:

Next, when my undergraduate English Romantics professor at Rollins College, Dr. Roy Starling, wanted to explain to his students what the publication of Lyrical Ballads was like in the 1790s, he compared it to this moment in rock history:

And that was how I first understood Romanticism as a literary phenomenon. Thank you, Dr. Starling.

In both cases, the way in to Romanticism was rock music from the 1960s to the 1980s.

James Rovira, editor. Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2018. xxiv+174 pgs. 978-1-4985-5383-4 • Hardback • February 2018 • $95.00 • (£65.00); 978-1-4985-5384-1 • eBook • February 2018 • $90.00 • (£60.00) (coming soon). Lexington Books is an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.

This edited anthology is part of the series For the Record: Lexington Studies in Rock and Popular Music. Series Editors:

Chapters are listed below. Links go to individual subpages for each chapter. These subpages list chapter descriptions, the music and literature discussed in each chapter, and have a link to iTunes and Spotify playlists based on the chapter. Note: not all songs and lists are available on Spotify.

Preface and “Introduction: Rock and Romanticism,” pp. ix-xxiv. James Rovira, Chair and Associate Professor of English, Mississippi College. Get the iTunes playlist. Get the Spotify playlist.

  1. Tangled Up in Blake: The Triangular Relationship among Dylan, Blake, and the Beats,” pp. 1-18. Luke Walker, Visiting Lecturer, University of Roehampton.
    1. iTunes playlist for this chapter.
    2. Spotify playlist.
  2. Romanticism in the Park: Mick Jagger Reading Shelley,” pp. 19-34. Janneke van der Leest, Ph.D. candidate, Radboud University, Netherlands.
    1. Check out the iTunes Hyde Park playlist associated with this chapter.
    2. Spotify playlist.
  3. William Blake: The Romantic Alternative,” pp. 35-50. Douglas T. Root, Assistant Professor of English, Claflin University.
    1. Check out the Sub Pop Records iTunes playlist that samples a selection of music discussed in this chapter.
    2. Spotify playlist (currently unavailable).
  4. Digging at the Roots: Martha Redbone’s The Garden of Love: Songs of William Blake,” pp. 51-64. Nicole Lobdell, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, DePauw University.
    1. Get the iTunes playlist.
    2. Spotify playlist.
  5. “‘Tangle of Matter and Ghost’: U2, Leonard Cohen, and Blakean Romanticism,” pp. 65-82. Lisa Plummer Crafton, Professor of English, University of West Georgia.
    1. Get the iTunes playlist.
    2. Spotify playlist.
  6. The Inner Revolution(s) of Wordsworth and the Beatles,” pp. 83-94. David Boocker, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Nebraska, Omaha.
    1. Get the iTunes playlist.
    2. Spotify playlist.
  7. “‘When the Light that’s Lost within Us Reaches the Sky’: Jackson Browne’s Romantic Vision,” pp. 95-110. Gary L. Tandy, Chair and Professor of the English and Theater Departments, George Fox University.
    1. Get the iTunes playlist.
    2. Spotify playlist.
  8. “‘Swimming Against the Stream’: Rush’s Romantic Critique of their Modern Age,” pp. 111-126. David S. Hogsette, Professor of English, Grove City College.
    1. Get the iTunes playlist.
    2. Spotify playlist.
  9. Wordsworth’s ‘Michael,’ the Georgic, and Blackberry Smoke,” pp. 127-140. Ronald D. Morrison, Professor of English, Morehead State University.
    1. Get the iTunes playlist.
    2. Spotify playlist (currently unavailable).
  10. Wordsworth on the Radio,” pp. 141-152. Rachel Feder, Assistant Professor of British Romantic Literature, University of Denver.
    1. Get the iTunes playlist.
    2. Spotify playlist.
  11. The ‘Scapigliatura’ and Poètes Maudits in the Songs of Piero Ciampi (1934–1980),” pp. 153-164. Lorenzo Sorbo, Ph.D. in Musicology, University of Milan.
    1. Get the iTunes playlist.
    2. Spotify playlist (currently unavailable).

Index, pp. 165-170.
About the Editor and Contributors, pp. 171-174.

Check out the Master iTunes playlist for the entire collection.

Check out the Master Spotify playlist for the entire collection.

Errata. Please contact James Rovira with any additional corrections.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: