[Jandek] has anybody analyzed the lyrics in a scholarly manner?

Frank Hardy soccerdude219 at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 28 07:35:01 PDT 2006

I find Jandek's poetry to be riddled with obscure metaphors and beautifully stark images- the best of it certainly is worth a real literary analysis, if not a simply a psychological one. "First You Think Your Fortune's Lovely" is a great one for that. I picked it apart in front for my senior presentation in high school, trying to argue that Jandek was in fact legitimate music. I've done a little analyzation, and I'm perhaps most fascinated by his motifs, such as the oft-repeated phrase "Floating Down a River". It's almost a cliche but Jandek turns it into something different, a metaphor for giving up on life. It's awesomely bluesy. He repeats it a lot in "Only Lover", which may be his single greatest song, if such a thing exists- but I dare you to analyze that behemoth! I think Jandek may be/have been manic depressive, and many of his lyrics can be interpreted quite logically with that in mind. Take an album like "Interstellar Discussion". For those who've heard it: need I
 say more?

stacey graham <staceygraham at gmail.com> wrote:  Anybody done/seen a scholarly analysis or thesis on the lyrical
content of Jandek's body of work? There seem to be lyrical themes
that float up through the murk over and over.

Myself, I hope I'm wrong but my subconscious has somehow given me the
impression that he likes nudity (especially in the afternoons) and
that there may or may not have been an inappropriate "incident" with a
younger girl. The body distortions (extra limbs, knives stuck in
faces, painted teeth) seem to me to be appropriations of shizophrenic
behaviour to baffle listeners.

Please don't flame me for this, these are just some images that got
caught in my head as the songs drifted through. I am in no way
qualified to analyze this stuff, just wondering if anybody has. Also,
who knows if the lyrics are even autobiographical in any way?

Stacey Graham
Minneapolis MN USA

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