chapter  7
Moss Garden: David Bowie and Japonism in fashion in the 1970s
Pages 19

This chapter explores the possibilities of this perspective, considering David Bowie in the midst of his various personae, collaborators and artistic mediums. The working hypothesis of the chapter is Roland Barthes' claim in his famous essay "The Grain of the Voice" that the singing voice, when it reveals its grain, "is a dual posture, a dual production, of language and of music" and in so doing presents "the materiality of the body speaking its mother tongue". Barthes' definition of the grain as both body and voice provides an ideal theoretical framework for the analysis of Bowie's music. The chapter examines the words, music and visual images of David Bowie from the perspective of literary and postmodern theories. The David Bowie's voice and lyrics as poetic text, people have found that radically problematised the preconceptions of identity and materiality in vocal music by allowing his listeners to enjoy his voice without identifying it with a single artistic identity.