Wednesday, July 9, 2008

John Henry / Forasong

I came across this superb close-reading of the unexpurgated version of John Henry while trying to gain some insight into the lyrics of the song John Hardy, which overlap to some extent (though they describe different men). This sort of careful, historically-researched close reading of texts (from Homer to the Rolling Stones) is what made traditional literary analysis so great, and what I think is so sorely missing in today's theory- and agenda-driven academic criticism.

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