Sunday 16th of June 2024


I libri dei Beatles


Gino Scatasta, Università di Bologna pdf_icon_30x30


Abstract: According to Marcus Collins, who studied the relationship between The Beatles and Sixties Britain, the band occupied a position of "creative tension" with the culture of their time: neither pioneers of new trends nor mere followers of different cultural, social and political innovations. On the basis of Collins's thesis, where can we locate The Beatles in the cultural landscape of the Sixties? Considering that "the Sixties" is a cultural construction indicating a period far too heterogenous to be compressed into a single entity, the role of The Beatles in the decade, especially for youth culture, could be investigated through their "books". The word "books" here points to the literary texts read by the single members of the band, especially Lennon and McCartney, that influenced their song lyrics, but also to those authors and writers who, even if not read but just overheard, shaped the cultural landscape of the decade. The term also refers to books as objects, like the ones found in libraries or bookshops in the form of paperbacks for a new type of reading audience. In this perspective, The Beatles are located at the centre of a network connecting them with the main cultural issues of the period (the Americanization of British society, the subcultures of the Fifties and Sixties, changes in sexual attitudes), with innovative artists of the period such as Hamilton, Blake or Orton, but also with a new vision of traditional and canonical authors such as Shakespeare.


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