Introduction to Literature: Heavy Metal as a Literary Genre

martin_jacobsen-heavy_metal_as_a_literary_genreAfter years of people wondering about the connections between metal and literature, a thoughtful university professor listened to his students and as a result, has created a college literature course that uses metal lyrics to teach sentence structure and literary technique.

In one of his other classes, he diagrammed a sentence using the lyrics from Iron Maiden’s “Out of the Silent Planet” and found that students enjoyed the relevant yet thoughtful source material. As a result, Professor Martin Jacobsen launched a new class this year, Introduction to Literature: Heavy Metal as a Literary Genre.

According to the course syllabus, the class will “examine the forty-year history of heavy metal, interrogate major themes and how they persist and/or change with(in) the principal metal movements and sub-genres, and speculate as to the potential literary future of heavy metal.” Jacobsen has created a private Facebook group for the page and the class will use an etext for the text book.

To all of us here who have been collecting and noting the similarities between heavy metal and Romantic literature for some time, it is gratifying to see that someone else has a similar vision. Also, this class sounds fun as hell. Lucky students to have such an interesting experience!

9 thoughts on “Introduction to Literature: Heavy Metal as a Literary Genre”

  1. That must be a killer class. I’d totally take it.

    Metal is like classical literature, it’s all about the same really big stuff. Epic. Powerful. Untamed.

    This professor sounds like a good fellow to. Also, he joined Mensa. Bet he’s got some interesting things to say.

  2. deadite says:

    BRB transferring colleges.

  3. Jim Necroslaughter says:

    I think that classical and romantic literature is the best explanatory link in between metal music and classical music. People have a hard time seeing the link between metal music and classical music because they are comparing sounds to sounds, yet people seem to be more receptive to seeing the comparison between metal and classical/romantic literature. The literature expounds on the ideas of metal but not in the form of sound. Thus you must make the links between ideas and sounds. Romantic literature also expounds on the ideas of Classical music. Once you make the link between idea and sound, you will then begin to see that metal music and classical music share this very same idea. Metal-Romantic Literature-Classical Music. Metal and Classical music link to Romantic and Classical literature in a similar way, thus Metal music and Classical music must also share this aspect in common.

    1. That’s a good point. Metal sounds different from classical, and classical doesn’t have words and epic covert art to show what the imagery is. In fact most of the imagery of classical is women in evening dresses with violins and old guys conducting.

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