Disnarration and the performance of storytelling in Taylor Swift’s folklore and evermore


In a similar way to dramatic performances and plays, song lyrics establish a complex discourse structure whereby listeners are placed in a position to overhear ‘the pretence of a conversation constructed to convey the performer’s meaning’ (Nahajec 2019: 25; see also Short 1996: 169). In Swift’s songwriting, listeners are positioned not only to eavesdrop on the narratives presented, but are also invited to conceptualise and enact particular roles and scenarios in the discourse. This paper offers a stylistic analysis of songwriting and narrative structure across Swift’s oeuvre to identify how disnarration strategies are used to build stories in her two sister albums written and produced during the Covid-19 pandemic, folklore (2020) and evermore (2020). Specifically, this study examines how disnarration characterises the albums’ narrators, establishes narrator-narratee relationships and invites listeners to adopt a participatory role in the meaning-making process. Through close analysis of four songs across the two albums, this paper builds on developing studies of the stylistics of songwriting (see West 2019), and argues that disnarration strategies foreground particular themes within the discourse, such as nostalgia, wistfulness and regret, and contribute to the fictionalisation and self-aware storytelling characteristic of these albums’ storyworlds.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.15462/ijll.v11i1.140
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
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College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA)
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > English Languages and Applied Linguistics
Additional Information: © 2022 IJLL CC BY 3.0
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2024 07:27
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2022 10:31
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Related URLs: https://journal ... rticle/view/140 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-11-06
Accepted Date: 2022-08-17
Authors: Harrison, Chloe (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-9963-3208)
Ringrow, Helen



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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