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Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject Didactics - English - Literature, Works, grade: 1,7, Free University of Berlin (Fachbereich Englisch), course: Literary Concepts II: Intermediality , language: English, abstract: [...] In his seventh novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet (hereafter GF), Rushdie tells the love story of the 20th century pop icons Vina Aspara and Ormus Cama. However, GF is not exclusively about love since the novel also combines a lot of historical and mythological aspects with the mainstream pop culture of the 20th century. In fact, the field of pop music seems to be central next to the novel’s love theme because throughout the whole book, extracts of original and remodelled song lyrics are incorporated into the texture of GF, and these song lyrics are – amongst many other things - used to reflect the love between the novel’s protagonists. Furthermore, the subject of music is also realised by the adoption of another strategy. Although the novel is said to be fictional, GF “tries to blur the edges between the fictional world and the real world” [Rushdie, interview with Vijaya Nagarajan 1999]. Therefore, Rushdie applied the technique of the alienation effect, which aims to make the familiar seem strange. This technique was predominantly realised by embedding mythological aspects in the story of GF and changing historical events which actually happened. Consequently, Rushdie created a “parallel version of the world”, which is slightly different from reality. The most influential aspect which makes the familiar life of the novel’s pop stars seem strange is its comparison with the Orpheus myth. Moreover, the Orpheus myth dignifies music as it basically declares that ‘one can kill the singer, but not the song.’ Since the subject of music seems to be of crucial importance in GF, and Salman Rushdie regards pop music as the “first cultural phenomenon of extraordinary force” [Rushdie, interview with Vijaya Nagarajan 1999], this paper aims to explore which different functions music fulfils in Rushdie’s novel. Therefore, this paper will first give a brief and general overview about the theoretical background of intermediality and the interrelation between literature and music. Afterwards, it will try to uncover in which ways music is related to GF by pointing out the different purposes music fulfils in terms of the novel’s mythological aspect, the topic of globalisation and the love theme. Finally, this paper will work out in how far GF draws parallels to the life and music of famous pop icons like Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan, but the paper’s main interest is clearly dedicated to Ormus Cama’s resemblances to Bob Dylan.
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