Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

The White Album as Neo-Victorian Fiction of Loss

The White Album as Neo-Victorian Fiction of Loss <p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>While much has been written about Sgt. Pepper&apos;s celebration of high Victorian culture, little scholarship, if any, has focused on the <i>White Album</i>&apos;s relationship to the late Victorian period. This paper examines The Beatles through the lens of what Victorian studies scholar Stephen Arata has called "fictions of loss," a body of fin de siècle texts depicting intertwined processes of "national, biological, [and] aesthetic" decline. I argue that the <i>White Album</i> can be read alongside <i>Dracula</i> and <i>She</i> as a "fiction of loss," revealing the degree to which a sense of "irretrievable decline" returned to haunt Britain in the late Sixties. Indeed, decline and fall comprise one of <i>The Beatles</i>&apos;s major concerns, not only because the album documents the band&apos;s nascent breakup, but also because it finds the band addressing (and often satirizing) a constellation of fin de siècle themes, newly relevant at midcentury: fears of reverse colonization ("Back In The USSR"); half-ironic fascination with colonial adventurism and "Eastern" enlightenment as correctives to decline ("The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill," "Dear Prudence"); Decadent critiques of over-interpretation ("Glass Onion"); nightmares/fantasies of apocalyptic destruction ("Helter Skelter," "Revolution 9"), and representations of animal bodies ("Piggies," "Yer Blues"). If Sgt. Pepper consciously invoked Victorian nostalgia, the <i>White Album</i> evokes fin de siècle motifs unconsciously, responding to their resurgence in the Beatles&apos; time.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Interdisciplinary Literary Studies Penn State University Press

The White Album as Neo-Victorian Fiction of Loss

Interdisciplinary Literary Studies , Volume 22 (1) – Sep 4, 2020

Loading next page...
 
/lp/penn-state-university-press/the-white-album-as-neo-victorian-fiction-of-loss-qm1AKGB0VJ
Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
2161-427X

Abstract

<p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>While much has been written about Sgt. Pepper&apos;s celebration of high Victorian culture, little scholarship, if any, has focused on the <i>White Album</i>&apos;s relationship to the late Victorian period. This paper examines The Beatles through the lens of what Victorian studies scholar Stephen Arata has called "fictions of loss," a body of fin de siècle texts depicting intertwined processes of "national, biological, [and] aesthetic" decline. I argue that the <i>White Album</i> can be read alongside <i>Dracula</i> and <i>She</i> as a "fiction of loss," revealing the degree to which a sense of "irretrievable decline" returned to haunt Britain in the late Sixties. Indeed, decline and fall comprise one of <i>The Beatles</i>&apos;s major concerns, not only because the album documents the band&apos;s nascent breakup, but also because it finds the band addressing (and often satirizing) a constellation of fin de siècle themes, newly relevant at midcentury: fears of reverse colonization ("Back In The USSR"); half-ironic fascination with colonial adventurism and "Eastern" enlightenment as correctives to decline ("The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill," "Dear Prudence"); Decadent critiques of over-interpretation ("Glass Onion"); nightmares/fantasies of apocalyptic destruction ("Helter Skelter," "Revolution 9"), and representations of animal bodies ("Piggies," "Yer Blues"). If Sgt. Pepper consciously invoked Victorian nostalgia, the <i>White Album</i> evokes fin de siècle motifs unconsciously, responding to their resurgence in the Beatles&apos; time.</p>

Journal

Interdisciplinary Literary StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Sep 4, 2020

There are no references for this article.