Thursday, April 5, 2012

Final Project Proposal

Patrick Kilduff

Proposed Argument: In many of our readings in this class, I have noticed a theme of Nihilism, especially in “Jimmy Corrigan”, but also in “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and “Frankenstein”. While not being a firm believer of Nihilism, I find the topic and the belief to be fascinating. Using these works, along with Marcuse and Nietzsche, I want to compare the themes of Nihilism in these books to some of favorite bands that have the same themes in their lyrics. Most of these bands have genres such as Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, and a little bit of Death Metal. While I do not play any musical instrument, music is a passion of mine. I listen to music all the time and love to interpret lyrics/messages that the vocalist is trying to convey. While I do not agree with some of the lyrics and messages that these bands hold, I find their viewpoints so interesting, plus I really enjoy the music that they play. So using lyrics from bands such as The Acacia Strain, Slayer, Suicide Silence, and others, I would like to compare and contrast their themes as artists to the books that we have read in class, especially their Nihilistic qualities. I would also like to give a brief bio on a few of the bands, just to give readers a perspective.

Counter Argument: Not every artist that I listen to is angry and has “negative” themes, so as a counter argument I would like to find other themes other than Nihilism in the books that we have read and compare them to the artists stated above and others that I enjoy, thus to give the broad range of themes in the music I enjoy the most and the themes in our novels.

Why the reader should care: Everyone finds something to latch onto in music, whether it is the wonderful voice of a solo artist, the mind-blowing talent of a brilliant piano player, or the message that the music has (lyrically, musically). With a topic such as this, readers can see the interesting views of a Metal band, that its not all about the screaming and the yelling of the vocalist, but that there a message and even a philosophy behind all the guitars and double bass pedal. I think it can give the reader a little more appreciation of the music, as well as seeing the similarities of between the music and the novels.

Role of Philosophy: Well to begin, Nietzsche was not a philosopher that we looked at in class; he has very strong views in Nihilism, and could provide a good amount of insight in my paper. Marcuse would have a great contribution to this paper looking at his view on music and its affect on society, while looking at how he would interpret the lyrics of these artists and the impact on the individual as well as the society, while using some of his themes and concepts.


1.Unfortunately, there are very few academic sources out there for biographies of the bands I wish to cover, so I would like to use Wikipedia, or maybe the bands website for the most accurate description of their biography. I know this is probably not desired, I will try my best to get the best sources, but as of now this is the best I can do. Also, I do not have any specific band biographies posted yet, due to the fact that I have a number of bands I am thinking of covering. I will have more information to come.

2. Marcuse, Herbert. "New Forms of Control." One-Dimensional Man. Beacon Press, 1964. Web. 5 Apr 2012.

The use of this source is to give insight into Marcuse’s take on music and the effects of Nihilism on society.

3. Dick, Philip K.Dick. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?. Del Rey, 1996. Web. 5 Apr 2012. .

Use this book to support my main idea

4. Ware, Chris. Jimmy Corrigan. 1st. Pantheon Books, 2000. 1-300. Print.

Use this book to support my main idea, and the main novel I am coving.

5. Dick, Philip K.Dick. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. 1st. New York: Doubleday Publishing, 1968. 1-210. Print.

Use this book to support my main idea.

1 comment:

Adam said...

In the section where you define the argument, you're not actually defining any particular argument, but a general area of interest or zone of inquiry. If I was going to summarize that I would say that you're asking something like: "Is Jimmy Corrigan (or DADES, or whatever) Nihilistic in a way that Metal (taken almost as an ideology or belief system rather than a musical style) would recognize?"

Then the *answer* to this question, could be understood as an argument. For instance: "While musical references in Jimmy Corrigan are mainly to ragtime, it is committed to a worldview similar to that of much metal: life is nothing other than a raw and ultimately pointless struggle for power; metal helps us understand Jimmy Corrigan in a way that other musical forms never could."

That's strictly meant to be an example of the kind of direction in which you *might* choose to head - although it might also be interesting to expand your musical horizons into ragtime, or to investigate Philip K. Dick's musical preferences.

Ultimately, here's my one point: if you think metal articulates something important in our culture or history, and that this something is also articulating in, say, Jimmy Corrigan, you can make this work - but you need to make it specific and clearly defined.