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When the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Bob Dylan in 2016, the literary world was up in arms. How could the world's most prestigious book prize be awarded to a famously cantankerous singer-songwriter in his 70s who wouldn't even deign to make a victory speech?
In Why Dylan Matters, Harvard professor Richard F. Thomas answers that question with magisterial erudition. A world expert on classical poetry, Thomas was initially ridiculed by his colleagues for teaching a course on Bob Dylan alongside his traditional seminars on Homer, Virgil and Ovid. Dylan's Nobel Prize win brought him vindication, and he immediately found himself thrust into the limelight as a leading academic voice in all matters Dylanological.
This witty, personal volume is a distillation of Thomas' famous course and makes a compelling case for moving Dylan out of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and into the pantheon of classical poets. The most dazzlingly original and compelling Dylan book in decades, Why Dylan Matters will amaze and astound everyone from the first-time listener to the lifetime fan. You'll never think about Bob Dylan in the same way again.
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Insightful, Informative and Enjoyable
An excellent narration of Why Dylan Matters. Although the book is about Bob Dylan and his work much of the discussion around influences could be applied to the work of other songwriters. This is not a line-by-line disection of Dylan’s songs but rather an observation of general influences on his songwriting and the directional changes of his career.