Bob Dylan, Now and Then
This chapter examines a wide range of Dylan's work by considering initially some of the consequences of the singer's releasing hitherto unreleased material from earlier in his life as the famous ‘Bootleg Series', in which Dylan becomes editor as well as creator and performer of his own work. The exceptional length of Dylan's creative and performing career is considered in some of its many attributes: the politics of the earlier songs; the literary nature and analogues of Dylan's lyrical talent; the huge ambition and willing risk of the undertaking; the nature of ‘entitlement'; the effects of self-making and self-mythologizing; the nature of the look and of looking; the incorporation of anti-Semitism. It is proposed that all of these things are profitably regarded under the aspect of concepts of ‘home’ and going ‘back home', of Odyssean voyage and return, in Dylan.
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