Laura Nyro MARY De TERESA - Essay

MARY De TERESA

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Laura Nyro was celebrated at a time when eccentricity inspired acceptance, when craziness was regarded not as neurosis but as a talisman to be worn proudly, signifying a profoundly tortured character. Nyro's earlier material is fraught with Catholic images of God and the devil—the devil being primarily cocaine and any no-good man, as evidenced in "Eli's Comin," "Poverty Train," "Time and Love," "Gibsom Street" and many others. Having been raised an Italian Catholic in the Bronx, she invoked God often and most of her material was gospel in an almost mystical way. As if, instead of experiencing her "weaknesses" as guilt, she, along with her fans, delighted in her behavior as a sign of a fragile, supremely sensitive...

(The entire section is 590 words.)