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Why Dylan Matters


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Richard F. Thomas is George Martin Lane Professor of the Classics at Harvard University, a Bob Dylan expert, and the creator of a freshman seminar at Harvard on Bob Dylan.



`At last an expert classicist gets to grips with Bob Dylan. Richard Thomas takes us from Dylan's high school Latin club to his haunting engagement with Ovid and Homer in recent albums. He carefully argues that Dylan's poetry deserves comparison with Virgil's - and Thomas, senior professor of Latin at Harvard and author of some of the most influential modern studies of Virgil, should know!' Mary Beard

`A poignant blend of memoir, literary analysis through a classical lens, musicology and, above all, love. [Thomas] loves Dylan with a passion so selfless and so intense that it's impossible to emerge from the book untouched' Guardian

`Accessible and enjoyable ... Richard F Thomas's elegant, charming book offers something for everyone - not just the super-fans' Independent

`The book joyously bounces from topic to topic, mixing anecdotes about Dylan's creative process, historical concerts, and wry press conferences with penetrating literary critique - and no shortage of Thomas' own personal recollections of bonding with Dylan's music. A highly informed, yet intimately personal celebration of one of our most important living writers - not despite, but because of the medium in which he writes' NPR

`Secures Dylan's place in a pantheon of literary heroes from Virgil to Eliot. A critical breakthrough that makes a masterful case for why Dylan is the bard of our times' Andrew McCarron, author of Light Come Shining: The Transformations of Bob Dylan

`Thomas' outstanding, eminently readable, and beautifully bound work, answers that question in relation to his subject with a resounding `Yes'. Dylan matters. Emphatically' Tribune

`Listen to Bob Dylan in performance. But read this book for help on how to hear his lyrics' Irish Examiner

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