Sunday, April 21, 2024

Taylor Swift songs and Miss Havisham & Estella from Charles Dickens’s “Great Expectations” (1861)

I hear Charles Dickens's "Great Expectations" (1861) in Taylor Swift's "right where you left me" ("evermore", 2020): "Help, I'm still at the restaurant / Still sitting in a corner I haunt [...] / Dust collected on my pinned-up hair." Dickens's Miss Havisham has also stayed "right where you left me" in her house, with everything around her "covered with dust". Now Swift's "Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?" ("The Tortured Poets Department", 2024) recalls Dickens's Estella, raised by Miss Havisham to get revenge on men: "You wouldn't last an hour in the asylum where they raised me / So all you kids can sneak into my house with all the cobwebs."  (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 21 April 2024)

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