A GUARDIAN AND INDEPENDENT BEST MUSIC BOOK OF 2017.
‘At last an expert classicist gets to grips with Bob Dylan’ Mary Beard
‘A poignant blend of memoir, literary analysis through a classical lens, musicology and, above all, love’ Guardian
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 seventies, 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’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. 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.