Teenage malcontent



This morning the Guardian published a long review of several recent books about Bob Dylan, from biographies to essay collections. It also calls out the new Bob Dylan Archive in Tulsa.

At 80 Dylan has lived a third of his country’s history, becoming both cultural titan of modern times and shaman from ‘the old weird America’. He once claimed ‘the Dylan myth wasn’t created by me - it was a gift from God’, but he has been a willing accomplice, a magus distilling his personal gnosis as much from religion as from music or art, one steeped in Judaism and Christianity, though ancient Rome is a surprisingly consistent strand. Women remain the other element in the alchemy, but despite a trove of love songs, variously tremulous, ardent or betrayed, Dylan remains an old testament prophet, forever promising ‘A wave that can drown the whole world’ or warning ‘You gotta serve somebody’. Apocalypse is always imminent, but first, he’s heading for another joint on the never-ending tour.