Driscoll B & Squires C (2018) Janelle Monáe or Gerald Murnane?. [Quiz] 2018. https://goo.gl/forms/BCncQQrQ7hzZoIu03
A recent conversational mishearing led to confusion between Janelle Monáe (JM) (US singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, actor) and Gerald Murnane (GM) (Australian novelist, poet and short story writer). GM has recently been touted (again) as a potential Nobel Prize in Literature winner, while he currently tends bar in a dusty Australian town. JM was born and raised in Kansas, has six Grammy nominations, and serves up the cocktails Pynk and Screwed.
It might seem these two figures are light years as well as continents away: GM is white, nearly 80, and lives as a semi-recluse in a small town with his son, rarely travelling or attending literary festivals. His writing has been compared to Samuel Beckett; he is (perhaps) the last star of literary modernism. JM is in her 30s, frequently appearing in traditional and social media, and is an advocate for Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and LGBTQ+ communities. Her influences and collaborators include Prince and Josephine Baker; AfroFuturism is her movement.
But can you tell the difference between the two? As the worlds of music and literature collide (Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize in Literature; and - let's admit it - all writers really wanting to be rock stars), we have designed a quick quiz (23 questions; about the time it takes to listen to one JM track) to help.
Janelle Monae; Gerald Murnance; cultural value; pop culture; methodologies;