As Giles Foden espressed it before, ‘Stan’ is a masterpiece of work. Mr Foden says that ‘Stan’ has the depth of the Shakespeare verses. I totally agree with him on the fact that ‘Stan’ is great poetry.
As a French citizen, I dare comparing ‘Stan’ to Rimbaud’s ‘Le Dormeur du Val’. Even if the story is different, the structure of both works is similar. Rimbaud’s poem first pictures a sleeping man, lying down in the grass near a river.
Gradually the reader understands that the young man is a dead soldier: ‘he’s white as a sheet and he’s got two holes on his right side’.
The pictures drawn in Stan’s story are similar. It’s the story of a fan writing to his favorite singer : he shares pains and sorrows with him, tells him that his girlfriend is pregnant.
Of course, he’s disappointed, because Eminem is late in answering his letters.
Gradually, the listener understands that Stan is sick (‘sometimes I cut myself to see how much it bleeds, it’s like adrenaline, the pain is such a sudden rush for me’) and his passion for Eminem becomes more and more obsessional.
The last picture is terrifying : Stan driving his car off the bridge with his pregnant girlfriend inside….
Stan is also a warning for each fan and listener not to misinterpret Eminem’s words and this song really proves Eminem doesn’t want his words to be taken litterally.
For those who still think he’s a violent mysogynist, remember who ties his girlfriend up : it is Stan ,not Eminem. Eminem tells Stan to treat his girfriend better ‘I really think you and you girlfriend need each other/Or maybe you just need to treat her better).
He never encourages him to act foolishly (‘I’m glad I inspire you,but Stan why are you so mad,try to understand that I want you as a fan. I just don’t want you to do some crazy shit.”)
Who said Eminem is a bad influence?