The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

2024 Commencement Student Speaker: Lea Tarzy
Alexandra Slofkiss: 2024 Commencement Soloist
Outstanding Senior Award: Bernadette Maramis
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

May 10, 2024

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

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Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

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Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” and the artist’s shift toward embracing parasocialism

“After this, when you hear those songs out in the world, I hope you’re gonna think about the memories that we made here tonight” – Taylor Swift, The Eras Tour

Since the beginning of her career, Taylor Swift has involved her fans in her personal life. She took people on a journey through her trials and tribulations, a life of love and growing success. Taylor Swift is known for leaving Easter Eggs in attempts to lead the world towards the fullest understanding of her art and ultimately of her. Her new double album “The Tortured Poets Department” goes one step further declaring that “the story isn’t mine anymore” in the final song, “The Manuscript”. This album shows Taylor at her most raw self, unafraid to lay out controversial emotions including dissonance with her fanbase. She is not alone in this transition toward letting fans see more of an artist than the original performance, but she is paving the way for a new way of viewing the parasocial relationship.

Taylor Swift breaks the fourth wall in her song “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” when she mentions her performances during the Eras Tour: “All the pieces of me shattered as the crowd was screaming ‘More’”. She mentions being miserable without people knowing and uses this to show how great of a performer she truly is. The fact that Taylor Swift is a mastermind of performance is something that people need to continuously keep in mind as they move through this album. While 31 songs can tell a lot about a person, they cannot tell the entirety of someone’s life to the point where their own life story does not belong to them anymore. This album shows more to satisfy an audience that wants to know it all, but Taylor Swift is too smart to let millions of listeners around the world know everything about her.

“The Tortured Poets Department” is a natural progression for Taylor Swift musically and flows nicely with her narrative as well. The songs have aspects of her latest new album “Midnights” and the recent Vault tracks from “1989” that are still charting on the Billboard Top 100. The singles will be palatable for a general audience and the rest of the album has the deep lyrics and introspective look into Taylor Swift’s life that the Swifties have been waiting for. By all accounts, this album should be a huge success for her and will likely signal to other artists that this move to create a relationship that feels closer than it ever could be in reality is the new way to ensure success in the music industry. 

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