Introduction: David Bowie and Romanticism’s Wild Mutations

This introduction lays out the predicates of David Bowie and the Legacies of Romanticism, exploring the diversity of Romantic inheritances and considering the ways in which David Bowie can be seen as engaging with them. It argues that while the Romantic period’s influence is less obvious than that of some other literary epochs, this is in large part because Romantic innovations changed so fundamentally the ways in which culture conceives of art and identity. Considering how Bowie engages with these changes allows us to see how Romanticism survives in a range of dynamic shaping forces, empowering later artists through providing both flexible tools to repurpose and overarching systems to reconfigure and oppose.