Further seductions: ‘Mrs. Robinson’, post-Graduate | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1751-4193
  • E-ISSN: 1751-4207

Abstract

Abstract

This article considers Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Mrs. Robinson’ in its original context of The Graduate (Nichols, 1967) in relation to its composition, lyrical content and narrative role. The song’s later use in other films is then examined, with consideration of issues of intention and reception in regard to evocation of The Graduate, and of the part that visual and other elements play in this alongside music. ‘Mrs. Robinson’ is seemingly universally employed as a deliberate nod to Nichols’s film, but a variety of contexts for and manners of this can be identified, in part using Serge Lacasse’s (2000) concepts of ‘autosonic’ and ‘allosonic’ quotation (where the former is the quotation of recorded sound, and the latter that of abstract musical structure, realized through new sonic means). The article argues that these later uses of ‘Mrs. Robinson’ have contributed to a re-inscription of the song’s signification in culture more broadly; much as Benjamin is seduced – led astray – by Mrs Robinson in The Graduate, we ourselves have now been seduced into new and arguably false interpretations of her musical namesake.

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2014-10-01
2024-04-19
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): film song; intertextuality; Mrs Robinson; quotation; reference; The Graduate
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