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The Minstrel Show 2.2 - On "Love and Theft" and the Minstrel Boy
April 14, 2005 8:25 PM   Subscribe

On "Love and Theft" & On On "Love and Theft" and the Minstrel Boy & The Annotated Love And Theft...    In melody, Bye and Bye comes by way of Billie Holiday's Having Myself A Time and Floater by way of Bing Crosby's (& Eddie Duchin's & Kate Smith's & Isham Jones's...) Snuggled On Your Shoulder--and lyrically, by way, in part, of Junichi Saga's Confessions Of A Yakuza, which was not a crime novel, as StupidSexyFlanders once surmised, but an outright As told to memoir, which makes it four or five degrees from Yakuza to Dr. Saga to translator to Dylan to Plagiarism in Dylan, or a Cultural Collage?

Oh, who's going to throw that minstrel boy a coin ?
posted by y2karl (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Also,

"A day above ground is a good day"

And there's more on "Love And theft" at

The Bob Dylan Critical Corner

And this just in--

Tangled Up in Bob

and here's a special bonus:

James Howard Kuntsler's, of The Long Emergency fame, review of Chronicles, Volume One
posted by y2karl at 8:27 PM on April 14, 2005


I applaud the lack of a "small" tag in this post.
posted by bshort at 8:44 PM on April 14, 2005


Blah blah blah Blah Blah Blahblah: A Blah Blah Blah & On Blah and Blah & Blah blah blah blah Blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah Blah Blah blah. Blahdeblah, blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah! Blah blah, blah? Blah, blah blah blah blah Blah blah, blah blah. Blah blah blah blah, blah Blah blahblah blah blah blah. Blah blah Blah Blah, blahblah Blah -- Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah: Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blahblah Blah Blah, or blahblah blah blah?

Blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah.
posted by blacklite at 9:05 PM on April 14, 2005


"It is impossible for an Artist to steal."
posted by R. Mutt at 9:05 PM on April 14, 2005


So. Did he do it because he was out of his own ideas, and figured he would disguise it with meta-commentary about how he was "stealing," ha ha, but not really, because look he changed some stuff. Or was he really intending to make a very layered statement about artistic borrowing?
posted by onlyconnect at 9:42 PM on April 14, 2005


Gosh, onlyconnect, I guess you'd have to do some research about the history of American music to answer that one.
posted by Hildago at 10:07 PM on April 14, 2005


Thanks y2karl. Some good links.
I particularly like the broad thematic approach (but not necessarily the detail) of Eyolf Østrem to Dylan exegesis.
...Dylan’s poetics is based on a resistance against clear-cut meanings; instead he puts together seemingly unrelated images, characters and situations in a collage which becomes confusing if one searches for exact meanings. But if one lets that go, it is easier to approach his technique: some of his greatness as a poet lies in his ability to serve the listener with a web of associations and semi-graspable connections, in a way that imitates how the mind works, and which therefore gives the listener a point of departure for creating meaning

I've always been torn between microscoping Dylan's works for posited profundity and insights, or withdrawing from the closeup and allowing the songs to simply develop an atmosphere around and within me. The latter approach is more my style these days - it's less work, but no less moving and entertaining and still thought provoking.

So I guess I correspond to the view that Dylan has a magpie's eye for life's details and an artist's eye for collage building. He steals and doesn't steal everything. He's like a link slut to musicAmericana. And until it is ever demonstrated that he doesn't imbue the gathered words and chords with his own workmanship, then I think I'll just regard his songs as original.

Interesting Zimmerman means carpenter...didn't know that little factoid.

blacklite....what the fuck? indeed
posted by peacay at 11:19 PM on April 14, 2005


I think Bob is giving us the keys to the kingdom. His getting "busted" for plagiarism in such an obvious and blatant way, taken in context with his lifelong expropriation of music and imagery from...well...everywhere, may be his way of telling us with a wink that he expects artists to do the same to his body of work.

Just think about all of the pop songs over the last decade that have name-checked Bob in one way or another. That stupid Hootie song with Dan Marino for one. Mr. Jones by the Counting Crows for another. That doesn't even count the fact that he's one of the most covered lyricists in the world.

Dylan is very good at making grand gestures in unassuming ways. (Jeebus conversion notwithstanding). Maybe he sees the damage that the corporate legal stranglehold is doing to modern creative expression. Maybe he's thumbing his nose at the lawyers, and asking that we join him for a picnic on the creative commons.
posted by Optamystic at 3:20 AM on April 15, 2005


may be his way of telling us with a wink that he expects artists to do the same to his body of work.

no his work, our work. I <3 William Rimbaud Guthrie.
posted by Satapher at 4:04 AM on April 15, 2005


All writer's works are built upon the work of others.

We all "borrow" from the work of others.
posted by nofundy at 4:46 AM on April 15, 2005


In the beginning, only animals liked his music. Now it's payback time.
posted by docgonzo at 7:36 AM on April 15, 2005


peacay:

Dylan has a magpie's eye for life's details

What a marvelous, apt observation regarding the "Frame Man."

And, y2karl, irrepressible giver of musical gifties to MeFites,
you've made me spend money again. Last week, it was "Jump Jim Crow;" this week, "Love and Theft"
and "Confessions of a Yakuza". . . .next week. . . .

You enrich us all, Karl. Keep up the wonderful work, my friend.
posted by rdone at 7:38 AM on April 15, 2005


As a failed PhD candidate at the University of Virginia, I have gotten insanely high with Eric Lott. Brilliant man, shitty professor. But a lot of the good ones are.

And he has cool posters in his office.

And his kid is insane.

And his ex-wife is hot.

But enough about me...
posted by bardic at 8:25 AM on April 15, 2005


Not exactly a double post, but still not new to MeFi.
posted by terrapin at 8:34 AM on April 15, 2005


Not exactly a double post, but still not new to MeFi.

Mouse over the stupidsexyFlanders link in post.

Dang, and I misspelled stupidsexyFlanders up there--D'oh!

This wasn't about the Confessions of a Yakuza thing, anyways--that was an aside--but more about the minstrelsy part and the whole entire collage of it, too, as noted in the first three links above.
posted by y2karl at 10:28 AM on April 15, 2005


Sorry, y2karl, I have gotten in the habit of finding your posts difficult to read with so much in the mouseover and small text that I have stopped even bothering. I should have looked closer.
posted by terrapin at 11:15 AM on April 15, 2005


Nice post. Thanks a lot.
posted by OmieWise at 12:51 PM on April 15, 2005


Dylan is the Zeus of all the gods of music/poetry/art. Geez, I thought everyone knew that.
posted by LouReedsSon at 1:20 PM on April 15, 2005


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