by Norman Warwick

Across seven decades, Bob Dylan has been the first singer of American song. As a writer and performer, he has rewritten the national songbook in a way that comes from his own vision and yet can feel as if it belongs to anyone who might listen. To find out more about what came from where and to whom it belongs come follow sidetracks and detours down places where Dylan changed the direction of folk music.

My bookshelves already cry out under the weight of Bob Dylan´s lyrics, poetry and prose. There are perhaps more Dylan biographers on the planet than there are Elvis Imitators. Some do and they deny and others claim they will but can´t; compete, beat or mistreat Dylan, dseny, decry or crucify Dylan. And, of course no journalist or fan wants analyse or categorise Dylan and no one iot seems is  trying to to track and trace Bob Dylan.

There is one biography that some say tells the story of Bob Dylan through the lens of seven penetrating songs . Nevertheless,. I suspect that even the author himself, acclaimed cultural critic Greil Marcus (right) would point out the book only tells a story of Bob Dylan.

Greil Marcus is the author of many books, from Mystery Train to Under the Red White and Blue: Patriotism, Disenchantment and the Stubborn Myth of the Great Gatsby. With Werner Sollors he is the editor of A New Literary History of America.

we´re gonna need a bigger bookshelf for book number 15

In Folk Music, Greil Marcus tells Dylan’s story through seven of his most transformative songs. Marcus’s point of departure is Dylan’s ability to “see myself in others.” Like Dylan’s songs, this book is a work of implicit patriotism and creative skepticism. It illuminates Dylan’s continuing presence and relevance through his empathy–his imaginative identification with other people. This is not only a deeply felt telling of the life and times of Bob Dylan but a rich history of American folk songs and the new life they were given as Dylan sat down to write his own.

Author                 Greil Marcus                                                                 

Title                     Folk Music

Price                    25.59                                                                                   

Publisher         Yale University Press

Publish Date    October 11, 2022

Pages              288

Dimensions     5.78 X 8.71 X 1.05 inches | 0.95 pounds

Language            English

Type                    Hard Cover



“The most interesting writer on Dylan over the years has been the cultural critic Greil Marcus . . . . No one alive knows the music that fueled Dylan’s imagination better. . . . Folk Music. . .

an ingenious book of close listening.”–David Remnick, New Yorker

“Marcus delivers yet another essential work of music ournalism.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Further elevates Marcus to what he has always been: a supreme artist-critic.”  Hilton Als

front cover

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