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

Danen D. Jobe djobe at uark.edu
Fri Apr 28 08:16:14 PDT 2006

Had to reply to this cause interestingly I read it immediately after listening to Neil Young's "Revolution Blues." For those who don't know it, it includes such lyrics as "well I hear that Laurel Canyon is full of famous stars/I hate them worse than lepers and we'll shoot them in their cars." 

Obviously Neil is not going to do this. It is reflective of his, how should one say it, unique perspective on things (check "Powderfinger" as well) but I think it's how he gets the demons out.  This, to me, is what Jandek does. I've listened to the new album MANY times now (more than most of the studio albums of late) and it possesses some real violence (both internally and externally focused), but it's a violence close, I think, to what Neil was doing in the aforementioned song. 

Just thoughts.


----- Original Message -----
From: Jonathan 23 <bad_dreams at elvis.com>
Date: Friday, April 28, 2006 3:52 am
Subject: RE : [Jandek] has anybody analyzed the lyrics in a scholarly manner?

> There is no reason why you couldn't treat the proliferation of
> schizophrenic/psychotic symptoms in Jandek's lyrics as a structural
> peculiarity of the text itself; one does not need necessarily infer
> that the singer himself is psychotic, simply because psychotic
> structures are inherent in the lyrics. I've just done a rather long
> thesis on the work of Antonin Artaud, utilizing Lacanian textual
> psychoanalysis, to locate the function of language, the shifting of
> signifiers, the manifesting of symptomatic formation in relation 
> to the
> Other of language, in the Artaudian text.
> By the same token, I imagine that one could take the Jandekian 
> lyrical oevre and analyze it using the same methods. Starting with 
> those bodily
> deformations, I'd say that one would have a good chance of uncovering
> some anamorphotic gaze distortion, always relevant to a 
> discussion of
> "anxiety" and "sublimation," both which appear prevalant in the
> Jandekian text. In fact, and I'm just free associating here, it might
> be interesting to try to situate Jandek between modernism qua
> surrealism (the off-kilter imagery, mythico-religious proliferations,
> ego discontinuity, the 'enigmatic' image proffered by the artist
> himself) and modernism qua transference, as embodied by the white 
> man's appropriation and transmogrification of the african-american 
> blues idiom.
> Somebody should write this up, but not me. I'm taking the summer 
> off from all this academic bullshit.
> {23}
> >------- Original Message -------
> >From : stacey graham[staceygraham at gmail.com]
> >Sent : 4/27/2006 4:13:10 PM
> >To : jandek at mylist.net
> >Cc : 
> >Subject : RE : [Jandek] has anybody analyzed the lyrics in a 
> scholarly manner?
> >
> >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
> >http://aflowercallednowhere.blogspot.com
> >
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> >jandek at mylist.net
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> >
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