Robert Johnson is a figure whose tale is shadowed by myth and hyperbole. The facts of his life and death remain scant, and both latter-day writers and present-day listeners have in many cases filled in the blanks with fancy. Perhaps because of his relative obscurity, and thanks to the enduring power of his handful of recordings, he has become the most written-about and lionized blues performer of his era. The truth of his existence will always be somewhat in question, but his songs and his style retain their force. He now exists out of time, a potent figure in the American imagination.