BOB DYLAN: my/Nicola Menicacci’s work/ORAL TRADITION, analysed in Iowa and Finland

I am pleased to note the choice of the issue of ORAL TRADITION (22, 1, March 2007 – – see entry on this blog, 27 June 2007) containing the proceedings of the symposium ‘Bob Dylan’s Performance Artistry’ held in 2005 at the University of Caen (France) (see this blog, 30 September 2005) as the main subject-matter for the 6 October 2009 session of ‘After Postmodernism’, an seminar for anthropology majors at Grinnell College, Iowa, USA, taught by Prof. Katya Gibel Mevorach:


For 6 October, students are asked to prepare, read and take part in a roundtable discussion, ‘focusing on the broad themes in each article related to ethnographic representations’, of the following articles from the Dylan issue of ORAL TRADITION:

(i)                Désveaux, Emmanuel. “Amerindian Roots of Bob Dylan’s Poetry.”

(ii)               Rollason, Christopher.  “Sólo Soy Un Guitarrista”:  Bob Dylan in the Spanish-Speaking World––Influences, Parallels, Reception, and Translation.”-; see this blog, 30 September 2005

(iii)             Thomas, Richard F. “The Streets of Rome: The Classical Dylan”


I am of course enormously flattered and grateful to find my own work being the subject of such close and detailed analysis in a college classroom.




I add that I have, furthermore, just discovered that my article on Dylan in the Spanish-Speaking World was *also* discussed and quoted at length, in the version appearing on the Bob Dylan Critical Corner site, in a text which appeared on 23 August 2007 in NY TID, a long-established and prestigious Swedish-language weekly based in Helsingfors, Finland (author: Sven-Erik Klinkmann; In the same piece, Klinkmann also discusses the book by Nicola Menicacci, ‘Bob Dylan, L’Ultimo Cavaliere’ (see this blog, 27 September 2005), reviewed by myself, again, on Bob Dylan Critical Corner. Not knowing Swedish, I have had to rely on Google’s rough machine translation into English to get a general idea of this article. However, it is clear that the author sees both Nicola’s analysis of esoteric and elements in Dylan’s work and my suggestion of a link between Federico García Lorca and Dylan’s ‘Standing in the Doorway’ as examples of Dylanological ‘overinterpretation’, of enthusiastic Dylan scholars ‘reading too much’ into the song texts. Be that as it may, it remains gratifying to find my work and Nicola’s examined at such length in a well-respected newspaper, and I am very grateful to Sven-Erik Klinkmann for his attention!



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