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Meaning in a Meaningless Leaning Mess?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


This essay aims to show that American black metal band Bone Awl creates meaning on their 2007 album Meaningless Leaning Mess both by following genre conventions and by breaking them and what that means and how it is interpreted from what is called black metal's horizon of expectations. The essay argues that the band in several ways differ greatly from the norm by being more ambiguous and multifaceted than their peers, while at the same time they reference black metal convention enough to stay within the black metal horizon of expectations. Thus they create a work of art that can allow the observer equipped with said horizon to interpret the album in the “correct” (i.e. black metal) fashion. Thereby Bone Awl let said observer create (black metal) meaning himself, not as a direct and clear message but as a feeling and an experience.This creation and enticing of meaning is created by Bone Awl's usage of the record as a total artwork, where all aspects (visual, lyrical, musical) combined creates an understanding of the overall artwork.

The meaning of the art for Bone Awl seems to be a personal process of understanding of creating meaning and understanding of what the band itself is about, in a scene and culture where traditional morals and meaning have been inverted. The band has realized that this inversion of morals is void of deeper meaning and also understands that the alternatives are equally meaningless, yet they side with black metal. The tension this creates can be seen in the art itself, and the record as well as the band itself is in this essay interpreted as a way to make sense and express these notions of meaningless meaning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 60 p.
Keyword [en]
black metal, Jauss, horizon of expectation, tension, creating meaning, meaninglessness, Satanism, reflexive anti-reflexivity, anti-aesthetic.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61752OAI: diva2:437405
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-08-30 Created: 2011-08-29 Last updated: 2011-08-30Bibliographically approved

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Estelle, Alexander
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