Singing Poets

Literature and Popular Music in France and Greece
Studies in Comparative Literature
Author: Dimitris Papanikolaou

Between 1945 and 1975, in both France and Greece, literature provided the aesthetic criteria, cultural prestige and institutional basis for what aspired to be a higher form of popular song and the authentic representative of a national popular music. Published poems were set to popular music, while critical discourse celebrated some songwriters not only for being ‘as good as poets’ but for being ‘singing poets’ in their own right. This challenging and stimulating study is the first to chart the parallel cultural processes in the two countries from a comparative perspective. Bringing together cultural studies with literary criticism, it offers new angles on the work of Georges Brassens, Léo Ferré, Jacques Brel, Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hadjidakis and Dionysis Savvopoulos.
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