Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Jacques Coulardeau and Paul Bunyan at Academia.edu (62)


Paul Bunyan, from wilderness to consumer's society



In the project going on right now to cover the figure of the stranger in Benjamin Britten's operas I have reached the first opera after many more I have studied before. This one is more a manifesto, musical and political, on Auden and Britten's side than a purely evanescent "entertainment neither true nor beautiful nor witty." 

The revival version though has cut off two essential scenes. But what is important here is the fact that Bunyan reaches both the level of the epic hero of a picaresque adventure and that of a myth, a legend, a folkloric character that becomes universal in his all-encompassing historical vision of his conquest of the west, like in a way the Chinese Monkey of the Buddhist Journey to the West.

Is teh stranger, teh eternal guest as he calls himself, that Bunyan is in our world an ideal, a prophet, a guru, or just a friend to accompany our dreams of a better world?

Research Interests:
Marxism, Sigmund Freud, Freud and Feminist Psychoanalysis, Karl Marx, Hollywood, Soup, Lumber industry, Beans, John Bunyan, Oedipus, Spanish conquest of the Americas, Campfire, Lumbering, Manhattan, Grand Central Station, Lumber History, and A brief summary in spanish about Jocasta


The figure of the stranger in Benjamin Britten's operas is more and more a stranger from outside that completely perturbs the status quo of where he arrives, or a stranger from inside that makes one confront his or her real circumstances or real deeper self. Too often it has been associated with Benjamin Britten's sexual orientation and in this case his collaboration with Auden increases the tendency especially since it is about an all-male environment in which there is ONLY one woman, and also one dog and two cats, all of them sung by women as Auden notes in his introduction to the libretto.. Yet I feel that it would be a mistake to consider the question only, first of all or in any priority way as having to do with Benjamin Britten's sexual orientation, just as much of a mistake as connecting his approach of the American conquest of the West with his dentist of a father whose drill he would try to run away from.

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