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John Fante's Ask the DustA Joining of Voices and Views$
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Stephen Cooper and Clorinda Donato

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823287864

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823287864.001.0001

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Ask the Lyrics: John Fante in Music

Ask the Lyrics: John Fante in Music

(p.127) Ask the Lyrics: John Fante in Music
John Fante's Ask the Dust

Chiara Mazzucchelli

Fordham University Press

The crosspollination of literature and lyrics is not a new phenomenon in popular music, and classics of world literature continue to inspire songwriters who incorporate them in their art in different ways and forms. Although perhaps not yet quite recognized as a classic author, the Italian-American novelist John Fante has had an impact on popular culture and music both in Italy and in the United States. Reviewing a range of Italian and American songs that draw inspiration from Arturo Bandini, the protagonist of Fante’s saga, this essay explores the relationship among literature, music, and society through a reflection on the impact that a non-canonical American writer has on popular culture and how his ethnic experience reverberates in the singer/reader/listener’s life before earning approval from mainstream critics.

Keywords:   American music, Arturo Bandini, Ask the Dust, ethnic literature, John Fante, Italian music, Italian-American literature

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