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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Professor and Poets, 3 July 2004
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This review is from: Do You Mr Jones?: Bob Dylan with the Poets and Professors (Paperback)
This is an edited collection of essays (and a poem) put together by Neil Corcoran of St Andrews University in Scotland where Dylan was given an honorary doctorate in mid June, preceded by an oration by Corcoran. The last time he accepted a doctorate was in 1970 at Princeton. This is one of a growing number of books by academics taking Dylan seriously, and not just obsessed with facts about his life. Recently we have had Stephen Scobie's Alias Bob Dylan; Christopehr Ricks, Dylan's Visions of Sin; David Boucher's Dylan and Cohen: Poets of Rock and Roll;, and shortly an edited collection by Boucher and Gary Browning entitled, The Political Art of Bob Dylan. The introduction emphasises Dylan's own anti-intellectualism and his negative attitude to critics and academics. The book includes discussions of familiar and unfamiliar themes. Of the former Christopher Butler elegantly argues that there is a close relation between the lyrics and the music, the music commanding attention to the words. Generally speaking the essays are rather equivocal on the question of whether Dylan is a poet. Indeed, the editor tells us that 'Dylan cannot without reserve be viewed as a poet'. Simon Armitage argues that literary criticism is not the right tool for analysing song lyrics, but this does not deter other contributors, such as Mark Ford, from ignoring the point. Ford, like Gray and Ricks, deal with Dylan in a similar fashion, that is seizing upon allusions and co-incidences that remind them of other poems or poets. He argues, for example, 'In the contexts of the myth of America, the addressee of 'Like a Rolling Stone' really should 'have it made': having 'nothing to lose' is what links, say Melville's Ishmael and Hawthorne's Pearl, Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Cooper's Natty Bumppo...'(This approach is criticised by Boucher in his Dylan and Cohen along the lines of what more do we know about a particular poem by telling readers that similar lines are to be found elsewhere!). The collection is a good and varied read and I recommend it to all Dylan fans interested in more than finding out new facts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 31 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Do You Mr Jones?: Bob Dylan with the Poets and Professors (Paperback)
There are loads of books about Bob Dylan. This is one of the best. Don't be put off by the title. These professors and poets are true fans and many relate how they got into the music of Bob Dylan. With this collection you get various viewpoints of his work and whilst occasionally different reviewers cover the same album by the end of the book you have a review of virtually his entire career.including his often overlooked religious albums phase.
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Do You Mr Jones?: Bob Dylan with the Poets and Professors
Do You Mr Jones?: Bob Dylan with the Poets and Professors by Neil Corcoran (Paperback - 3 July 2003)
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