In: KulturPoetik 2012, Heft 2


Jan Mohr


Männer mit Äxten. Heroismus in der Populärkultur, das Imaginäre und Hard Rock. Ein Versuch




The article aims to describe rock musicians as a type of modern hero. My starting point is the question of what effect heroes have on their public (I, II). In hard rock songs, the lyrics deal typically with visions of teenage love and friendship, freedom, rebellion, and the like. On stage, rock musicians, especially ›guitar heroes‹, display technical virtuosity and heroic prowess (III, IV). With reference to Sartre, I argue that the songs as well as the artists’ posing and gestures form images in the audience’s imagination that can give emotional shape to their unconscious nostalgia (V). According to Castoriadis’s theory of the imaginary, these images – even if they are vague and ephemeral – play a part in constituting society’s symbolic systems (VI).