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“The coolest class on campus” – The New York Times When the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Bob Dylan in 2016, a debate raged. Some celebrated, while many others questioned the choice. How could the world’s most prestigious book prize be awarded to a famously cantankerous singer-songwriter who wouldn’t even deign to attend the medal ceremony? In Why Bob Dylan Matters, Harvard Professor Richard F. Thomas answers this 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 brought him vindication, and he immediately found himself thrust into the spotlight as a leading academic voice in all matters Dylanological. Today, through his wildly popular Dylan seminar—affectionately dubbed "Dylan 101"—Thomas is introducing a new generation of fans and scholars to the revered bard’s work. This witty, personal volume is a distillation of Thomas’s 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. Asking us to reflect on the question, "What makes a classic?", Thomas offers an eloquent argument for Dylan’s modern relevance, while interpreting and decoding Dylan’s lyrics for readers. The most original and compelling volume on Dylan in decades, Why Bob Dylan Matters will illuminate Dylan’s work for the Dylan neophyte and the seasoned fanatic alike. You’ll never think about Bob Dylan in the same way again.
La ópera prima del último premio Nobel y uno de los artistas más influyentes de nuestros días. "Tarántula" es una suerte de lectura iniciática imprescindible para comprender el imaginario dylaniano que puebla sus canciones desde "Bringing It All Back Home","Highway 61 Revisited" y "Blonde on Blonde". Los textos en verso y en prosa que conforman esta aproximación a la escritura automática no están exentos de la musicalidad propia de las composiciones de Dylan de la época ni de las preocupaciones que acompañan al artista en el que posiblemente sea el año más importante de su carrera: cierto inconformismo, una evidente y creciente predilección por el genio verbal y por la espontaneidad, y la firme creencia en la legitimidad de la calle como fuente inagotable de inspiración.
A GUARDIAN AND INDEPENDENT BEST MUSIC BOOK OF 2017. ‘At last an expert classicist gets to grips with Bob Dylan’ Mary Beard ‘Thomas’s elegant, charming book offers something for everyone – not just the super-fans’ Independent
This study of Bob Dylan’s art explores the distinctive ways he brings words and music to life on recordings, onstage, and onscreen. Dylan’s body of work to date is situated in terms of the influences that have shaped his performances and the ways these performances have shaped contemporary popular music.
A close examination of Bob Dylan's songs that locates his transgressive style within a long history of modern (and modernist) art. The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature recognized Bob Dylan as a major modern artist, elevating his work beyond the world of popular music. In this book, Timothy Hampton focuses on the details and nuances of Dylan's songs, showing how they work as artistic statements designed to create meaning and elicit emotion. With Bob Dylan's Poetics, Hampton offers a unique examination of both the poetics and politics of Dylan's compositions. He studies Dylan not as a pop hero, but as an artist, as a maker of songs. Focusing on the interplay of music and lyric, Hampton traces Dylan's innovative use of musical form, his complex manipulation of poetic diction, and his dialogues with other artists, from Woody Guthrie to Arthur Rimbaud. Moving from Dylan's earliest experiments with the blues through his mastery of rock and country to his densely allusive more recent recordings, Hampton offers a detailed account of Dylan's achievement. Locating Dylan in the long history of artistic modernism, he examines the relationships among form, genre, and the political and social themes that crisscross Dylan's work. With this book, Hampton offers both a nuanced engagement with the work of a major artist and a meditation on the contribution of song at times of political and social change.
Virgil's Georgics, the most neglected of the poet's three major works, is brought to life and infused with fresh meanings in this dynamic collection of new readings. The Georgics is shown to be a rich field of inherited and varied literary forms, actively inviting a wide range of interpretations as well as deep reflection on its place within the tradition of didactic poetry. The essays contained in this volume – contributed by scholars from Australia, Europe and North America – offer new approaches and interpretive methods that greatly enhance our understanding of Virgil's poem. In the process, they unearth an array of literary and philosophical sources which exerted a rich influence on the Georgics but whose impact has hitherto been underestimated in scholarship. A second goal of the volume is to examine how the Georgics – with its profound meditations on humankind, nature, and the socio-political world of its creation – has been (re)interpreted and appropriated by readers and critics from antiquity to the modern era. The volume opens up a number of exciting new research avenues for the study of the reception of the Georgics by highlighting the myriad ways in which the poem has been understood by ancient readers, early modern poets, explorers of the 'New World', and female translators of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
This volume comprises a series of studies focusing on the Latin poetry of the first and second centuries BCE, its relationship to earlier models both Greek and Latin, and its reception by later writers. A point of particular focus is the influence of Greek poetry, including not only Hellenistic writers like Callimachus, Theocritus, and Lycophron, but also archaic poets like Pindar and Bacchylides. The volume also includes studies of style, as well as treatments of the influence of Latin poetry on writers like Marvell and Dylan. Contributers include J. N. Adams, Barbara Weiden Boyd, Brian Breed, Sergio Casali, Julia Hejduk, Peter Knox, Leah Kronenburg, Charles Martindale, Charles McNelis, James O’Hara, Thomas Palaima, Hayden Pelliccia, David Petrain, David Ross, and Alexander Sens.

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