A GUARDIAN AND INDEPENDENT BEST MUSIC BOOK OF 2017.
‘At last an expert classicist gets to grips with Bob Dylan’ Mary Beard
‘Thomas’s elegant, charming book offers something for everyone – not just the super-fans’ Independent
When the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Bob Dylan, the literary world was up in arms. How could the world’s most prestigious book prize be awarded to a famously cantankerous singer-songwriter in his Seventies, who wouldn’t even deign to make an acceptance speech?
In Why Dylan Matters, Harvard Professor Richard F. Thomas answers that question with magisterial erudition. A world expert on Classical poetry, Thomas was initially ridiculed by his colleagues for teaching a course on Bob Dylan alongside his traditional seminars on Homer, Virgil and Ovid. Dylan’s Nobel prize win brought him vindication. This witty, personal volume is a distillation of Thomas’s famous course, and makes a compelling case for moving Dylan out of the rock n’ roll Hall of Fame and into the pantheon of Classical poets. You’ll never think about Bob Dylan in the same way again.