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Saturday, 22 October 2016

Bob Dylan: In an imaginative conversation with scripture

Malcolm Guite makes an excellent argument in the Church Times for the appropriateness of awarding Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize in Literature, including the following:

'... it is the Bible, more even than the work of previous poets, that has inspired and informed Dylan’s best work; and this biblical strand in his poetry is not confined to the more obvious and dramatic quotations in the intense period of his Christian conversion (1979-82).

Throughout his work, from his earliest days to the present, he has been in an imaginative conversation with scripture. In his best songs, it is not only direct quotation, but subtle allusion, that informs and deepens the poetry. Dylan often allows a Bible passage to work quietly behind his song. We can hear and appreciate the song without at first hearing the biblical echoes, but, once we do hear them, the whole meaning of the song is enhanced.'

For more reflection on Dylan and faith, read my co-authored book 'The Secret Chord'.


Bob Dylan - Blowing In The Wind.

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