The Myth of Popular Culture
In this fascinating examination of popular culture, esteemed cultural critic Perry Meisel shatters conventionally held notions about the division between "high" and "low" culture with the provocative theory that popular culture has sustained dialectical rhythms. Meisel's deft critical analysis of three enduring cultural traditions -- the American novel, Hollywood, and British and American rock music -- leads us to question the very concept of the division between "high" and "low" culture.
Meisel begins his engaging discussion by refuting philosopher Theodor Adorno's assertion that "high" culture is "dialectical" and "pop" is not, showing that popular culture does indeed have a conversation both with its sources and with cultural authority as a whole. In the final section, Meisel turns his attention to Bob Dylan, a figure who, more than any other, shows what it means to synthesize and revise all traditions -- music, poetry, iconography -- and transform them completely.
Brilliantly conceived and clearly articulated, The Myth of Popular Culture from Dante to Dylan redefines the way in which we think about all forms of artistic expression.
About the Author:
Perry Meisel is Professor of English at New York University. His books include The Myth of the Modern (1987), The Cowboy and the Dandy (1999), and The Literary Freud (2007). He has also written widely for publications that include The Village Voice, The New York Times, Partisan Review, and October.