Christopher Bray

Folk Hero

Bob Dylan in America


The Bodley Head 390pp £20 order from our bookshop

At last a study of Bob Dylan’s work that isn’t premised on his being a major-league poet. Ever since the publication of Michael Gray’s Leavisite panegyric Song and Dance Man (1972), literary Dylan fans have been keen to counsel us that their man is the new Keats or Eliot. Ezra Pound said that if modernism were to have a future there’d have to be a merger of poetry and song, but even if you believe – as Allen Ginsberg did – that Dylan was the man who pulled off the deal, you’d have to concede that he’s a rocker at least as much as he is a writer. If Professor Aidan Day gets his kicks ‘Reading the Lyrics of Bob Dylan’ (the subtitle of his 1988 book Jokerman) then good luck to him. The majority of us prefer to hear them sung to the twang of a guitar.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,