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The Cowboy and the Dandy Crossing Over from Romanticism to Rock and Roll

by Perry Meisel

  • ISBN: 9780195118179
  • ISBN10: 0195118170

The Cowboy and the Dandy Crossing Over from Romanticism to Rock and Roll

by Perry Meisel

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 12/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780195118179
  • ISBN10: 0195118170
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Description: This dazzling, adventurous book begins in Colorado with Oscar Wilde. Wilde, observing a casino sign reading, Please don't shoot the piano player; he is doing his best, reflects: "I was struck with this recognition of the fact that bad art merits the penalty of death, and I felt that in this remote city, where the aesthetic application of the revolver was clearly established...my apostolic task would be much simplified".

Starting with the cowboy and the dandy -- visionary figures at opposite ends of the iconic spectrum -- Perry Meisel stages a history of American creativity where Western heroes and urban aesthetes are equal citizens of a Romantic culture, all vigorously enacting ideas of freedom, movement, and irony that are intriguingly similar to those at work in the jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues of African American culture. And rock and roll? Rock and roll is the link between Romantic and blues traditions.

Meisel composes a portrait of American imagination spacious enough to accommodate Emerson, Muddy Waters, Davy Crockett, Toni Morrison, and hiphop; resourceful enough to resolve the unlikely meeting of Afro-America and Anglo-America; and bold enough to unveil a family connection between Elvis, Miles Davis, Virginia Woolf, and British psychedelic rock. Readers will find fascinating picture of the cultural collisions integral to American art and identity.

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Oxford U.P., New York, NY, 1999. 1st Edition, Fine/Fine, Hard Cover,
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