- Title: Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown
- Author: David Yaffe
- ISBN: 9780300124576
- Page: 248
- Format: Hardcover
Bob Dylan is an iconic figure in American musical and cultural history, lauded by Time magazine as one of the hundred most important people of the twentieth century For nearly fifty years the singer songwriter has crafted his unique brand of music, from his 1962 self titled debut album to 2009 s 1 hit Together Through Life, appealing to everyone from baby boomers to theBob Dylan is an iconic figure in American musical and cultural history, lauded by Time magazine as one of the hundred most important people of the twentieth century For nearly fifty years the singer songwriter has crafted his unique brand of music, from his 1962 self titled debut album to 2009 s 1 hit Together Through Life, appealing to everyone from baby boomers to the twenty somethings who storm the stage at his concerts.In Bob Dylan Like a Complete Unknown, literary scholar and music critic David Yaffe considers Dylan from four perspectives his complicated relationship to blackness including his involvement in the civil rights movement and a secret marriage with a black backup singer , the underrated influence of his singing style, his fascinating image in films, and his controversial songwriting methods that have led to charges of plagiarism Each chapter travels from the 1960s to the present, offering a historical perspective on the many facets of Dylan s life and career, exploring the mystery that surrounds the enigmatic singer and revealing the complete unknown Dylan.
Recent Comments "Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown"
The dust jacket has a great photograph of Dylan in which he appears to be almost invisible. You see a white cowboy hat, a bit of a blue jacket, shoulder and forearm, the upper neck of a guitar and the shadowed fingers of his hands. That’s all, the rest is black. To a certain extent, Dylan has remained invisible to those who have tried, particularly in biography but also in criticism, to make sense of him. In this regard he is not unlike Pablo Picasso. Both were chameleons, both were rife with [...]
Does the world need yet another Bob Dylan book? Surprisingly in David Yaffe's case the answer is yes. This short book takes four aspects of Dylan's muse - including his widely attributed plagiarism (or not, depending on your point of view) and his smoke raddled ageing vocal chords/range and the world worn new grain of the voice that this decline creates in his later work. Yaffe, a music/literature studies American academic, weaves an essay chapter around each of these ideas (and more) with great [...]
Yaffe’s slim yet scholarly book is full of respect for the many contradictions that make Dylan so fascinating. Yaffe is an intelligent and balanced author, combining great love as a fan with a professor’s critical summation skills. Understanding Dylan’s mercurial nature and vast body of work is, in my humble yet obsessive opinion as a songwriting admirer, a worthwhile pursuit. Yaffe offers a playlist at the end of the book that in itself is worth the price and our time.
very interesting short meditations on various aspects of dylan's work lots of good insights.
The book tries to do several things on the topic of Dylan, but only manages to do a few of them. This is a book I didn't like so much, but it's also a book I feel like I need to apologize for not liking more. The author knows his stuff, and he has to juggle the demands of the Yale Icon series, which seeks to examine American culture through the focused lens of single people, events or things. Perhaps I've read too much about Dylan or lived with his music for too long, but the book offers too few [...]
A good Dylan book, thoughtful and smart without being boringly academic like a pretentious Terry Teachout book. It is a long essay or three, sorta, for grown-ups who are Dylan fans, as opposed to a fanzine built to feed the cross-eyed Bob Dylan nuts. It will help you organize and expand what you know about Dylan's work, but it is not "teachy" or preachy.
A must read for any Dylan fan. It's a witty, well written synopsis of Bob's life as a homeless road warrior, poet, "song and dance man"legend.
Very nice book by David Yaffe, I enjoyed the analysis of Dylan's voice as well as the aspect of his attraction and imitation of black music. A nice addition to the Dylan library.
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