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Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown (Icons of America) Hardcover – May 24, 2011
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About the Author
David Yaffe is assistant professor of English at Syracuse University and a music critic for the Nation. He is the author of Fascinating Rhythm: Reading Jazz in American Writing and Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell
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He titles his opening chapter, for example, after poet Philip Larkin's reference to Dylan's "cawing, derisive voice" on "Highway 61 Revisited". Yaffe wonders (and wanders) briefly about where to place Dylan among The Poets (including Ginsberg, Wallace Stevens and TS Eliot) before moving on to the Necessity of Dylan for enabling history to know such voices as Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Patti Smith. The certitude of the author's voice (that is, Yaffe's) is in little doubt here, but his theses will need more fleshing out for those new to studies of Mr. Dylan.
So, for example, from Yaffe one might bridge to further coverage on Dylan's (and Larkin's) "Songs, Poems and Rhymes" in Chistopher Ricks' 2005 volume "Dylan's Visions of Sin", and on to "The Ballad of Bob Dylan" by Daniel Mark Epstein for a longitudinal blend of biograph, political context and listener experience.