F404 Winter 2019 “The Shorthand of Emotion:” The Infatuation between Pop Music and Literary Fiction
Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Jan. 22–Jan. 29
Instructors: Kay Menchel, Cameron Menchel
In this course we will take a look at the symbiotic relationship between popular music and literature. We will consider both how certain novels and stories have shaped songs and how various songwriters have stimulated novelists. Vladimir Nabokov and Flannery O’Connor, two of the writers we’ll discuss, are seemingly unlikely sources for songs. However each has left a noticeable imprint on more than one generation of musicians. The Beatles, given their staggering popularity and accessibility, might seem an improbable literary influence. Yet, they have inspired affectionate pastiches and, in the case of Haruki Murakami, a major novel. We’ll listen to the songs that we discuss and provide excerpts from the novels and short stories.
Kay Menchel, who grew up in Yorkshire, England, is a lawyer who also holds an MA in English literature from George Mason University. She enjoys sharing her passion for English literature with OLLI members.
Cameron Menchel, the son of Kay Menchel, received a BA in English and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from the College of William & Mary. He also received honors in his major for a thesis on Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. He is interested in pursuing graduate study in literature and is delighted to have the opportunity to teach at OLLI in the meantime.