Advertisement

Introduction: The Foreign Sounds of Dylan’s Literary Art

  • Josh Toth
  • Nduka Otiono
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)

Abstract

This introduction summarizes the book’s contents while focusing on the way in which Dylan’s work tends to provoke an odd and striking anxiety about the nature, or finite boundaries, of the literary—an anxiety that became ever more apparent in the days that followed the announcement of his Nobel win. In tracking this anxiety (and comparing it to an eighteenth-century anxiety about the novel), the chapter explores Dylan’s early rejections of musical and literary traditions in the light of his Nobel lecture—a lecture that paradoxically ties his work to traditional forms of literature (i.e., works by Shakespeare, Melville, Homer, etc.). At the same time, the chapter looks to Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of polyvocality as a way of understanding Dylan’s often contradictory aesthetic gestures.

Keywords

Bob Dylan Nobel Polyvocality Novelistic Literature 

References

  1. Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1981. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Edited by Michael Holquist and translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  2. Barth, John. 1984 (1967). The Literature of Exhaustion. In The Friday Book: Essays and Other Nonfiction, 62–76. New York: Putnam.Google Scholar
  3. Barthes, Roland. 1977 (1967). Image-Music-Text. Translated by Stephen Heath. New York: Hill & Wang.Google Scholar
  4. Danius, Sara. 2016. Interview with Sven Hugo Persson. Nobelprize.org, October 13, 2016. Accessed May 4, 2018.
  5. Day, Aidan. 1988. Jokerman: Reading the Lyrics of Bob Dylan. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  6. Dylan, Bob. 1965. Liner Notes. Bringing It All Back Home. Columbia.Google Scholar
  7. ———. 2004. Chronicles. Volume One. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  8. ———. 2017. Nobel Lecture. Nobelprize.org, June 5, 2017. Accessed May 4, 2018.
  9. Honneth, Axel. 2007. “Verwicklungen von Freiheit: Bob Dylan und seine Zeit.” In Bob Dylan. Ein Kongreß. edited by Axel Honneth, Peter Kemper and Richard Klein, 15–28. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  10. Hymes, Dell. 1974. Foundations of Sociolinguistics: An Ethnographic Approach. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  11. Jones, William. 1810 (1790). Letters from a Tutor to His Pupils. In The Theological and Miscellaneous Works of Rev. William Jones, ed. William Stevens, 265–280. London: F. C. and J. Rivington.Google Scholar
  12. McHale, Brian. 2008. 1966 Nervous Breakdown; or, When Did Postmodernism Begin? Modern Language Quarterly 69 (3): 391–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Picoult, Jodi (@jodipicoultPicoult). 2016a. I’m Happy for Bob Dylan. / #ButDoesThisMeanICanWinAGrammy? Twitter, October 13, 2016, 5:24 a.m.Google Scholar
  14. ——— (@jodipicoultPicoult). 2016b. Actually, as I Said in the NEXT Tweet, I Like Dylan. He Is a Poet. It Was Just a Gentle Joke. #context #relax! Twitter, October 13, 2016, 7:06 p.m.Google Scholar
  15. Pitzer, Andrea. 2017. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Slate.com, June 13, 2017.
  16. Renza, Louis. 2017. Dylan’s Autobiography of a Vocation: A Reading of the Lyrics 1965–1967. New York: Bloomsbury.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Scobie, Stephen. 2003. Alias Bob Dylan: Revisited. Calgary: Red Deer.Google Scholar
  18. Shteyngart, Gary (@Shteyngart). 2016. I Totally Get the Nobel Committee. Reading Books Is Hard. Twitter, October 13, 2016, 6:10 a.m.Google Scholar
  19. Sisario, Ben. 2017. ‘A Really Cool Gig’: Playing Piano for Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture. The New York Times, June 7, 2017.Google Scholar
  20. Tomkins, Jane. 1985. The Cultural Work of American Fiction 1780–1860. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Toth, Josh. 2018. Stranger America: A Narrative Ethics of Exclusion. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josh Toth
    • 1
  • Nduka Otiono
    • 2
  1. 1.MacEwan UniversityEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Institute of African StudiesCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations