Thursday, December 06, 2018


I love this WhatsApp message I sent to one of my students today. Good times.

12/6/18, 12:55 PM - Chad: Ok, one last thing on Eminem. Here is what is thought to be Eminem's very best song. It's called "Stan" and it's about an obsessed fan who takes Eminem's songs too literally.

This song is very special because unlike "The Way I Am," there's not one superfluous word in it; each word, more or less, tells something, is integral. Also the song is written in the style of a letter. So, the first three fourths of the song is written by an obsessed fan named Stan writing to Eminem -- even though it's just Eminem himself singing -- and the last verse is Eminem replying to this "obsessed fan."

Just for technical purposes, in case you're interested, "Stan" is what's known as an "epistolary" song -- meaning, it uses a series of letters rather than narration to tell a story.

This is actually very sophisticated stuff, Marina, right up there, in my opinion, with the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby," another very literary minded song.

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