[lit-ideas] Re: a question about Dylan

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 13:49:18 +0000 (GMT)

 --- Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: 

>Most of the
> questions weren't very interesting, 

They certainly weren't very penetrating but the the journalistic interview
generally isn't very penetrating, more on the level of superficial prying
which prompts in Dylan an appropriate defensiveness. They were also of a kind
that promoted Dylan's recent book by giving him a platform to offer a kind of
taster of it.

>and Dylan's answers were interesting
> only as performances.  

I would accept "interesting mainly".

>He was self-depreciating 

Like a inflation-hit currency?

>and claims not to value his
> fame, but it is difficult to believe that he doesn't value the adulation
> that he spent so much of his life seeking.  

I find it not so difficult at all to believe that he doesn't much value it.
In fact, to think him insincere on this point strikes me as plain wrong.

>He said he wasn't the Protest
> Leader his fans made him out to be.  He was neither a poet nor a
> philosopher, merely a song and dance man.  

He said this in an interview *in the sixties* - giving rise to the title of
Michael Gray's 'Song and Dance Man : The Art of Bob Dylan', probably the best
and most enjoyable critical assessment of Dylan's work. In fact, he didn't
quite say he was merely a S&D man - he said, afair, that he thought of
himself as _more of_ a S&D man [than a prophet etc]. In this too he was I
think being sincere at the same time as sending-up the question, a tactic
still evident on 60 minutes.

My guess is that Robert Paul doesn't really like Dylan or his work and that
explains his 'depreciation' of the interview as not interesting. It is, as
ever, only a guess.



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