Weekend at Burney’s

Here’s an inconsequential & dubious theory: The title & covert of the new Hole album, Nobody’s Daughter, is an allusion/homage to the influential 18th century British author Frances Burney as an attempt by Courtney Love to self-induct herself into the pantheon of haute couture babes… Consider the facts! The cover art—a detail from an oil painting of M. Antoinette by Elisabeth-Louise Vigee-Le Brun—situates the viewer firmly in the world of prominent 18th century women—both celebrities & artists.

Item 2! The reverse cover art prominently features a pendant of the letter ‘B’… which obviously stands for “Burney”.

Item 3: Consider the album’s title in connexion with an excerpt from Catherine Gallagher’s Nobody’s Story: The Vanishing Acts of Women Writers in the Marketplace 1670-1820. In this study of gender & authorship in the Long 18th Century, Gallagher pays particular attention to the diaries of a young Frances Burney:

No further exposition required.

Questions for further reflection: (1) What is the relationship between the concept of Nobody/No-body and the album’s depiction of two ‘decapitated’ women?

(2) Does tension exist between, on the one hand, drawing explicitly on historical precursors and, on the other, claiming to be nobody’s daughter?

(3) If instead the title alludes to Frances Bean and not Frances Burney, how does that rank on the inappropriateness scale?

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