This book explores the various personal and social narratives within the songs of Brassens and Brel, the auteurs-compositeurs-interpretes who epitomised what is now widely regarded as the golden era of chanson francaise during the 1950s and 60s. Tinker's discussion reveals the tensions in the narrators' relationship with themselves, other individuals, and society. The book builds upon, and moves beyond, the two dominant critical approaches used to write about French song: the exclusively biographical oriented approach and the purely linguistic analysis. Tinker focuses both on identity, viewed primarily as a relational process, and on representation: linguistic, musical, vocal, and gestural.
Chris Tinker is a lecturer in French at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh.