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Explore how Bob Dylan portrays transient figures in Like a Rolling Stone, and discuss how these portrayals contribute to t - Research Paper Example

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Topic: Explore how Bob Dylan portrays transient figures in “Like a Rolling Stone,” and discuss how these portrayals contribute to the central message of the song. The lyrics of Bob Dylan's classic song "Like a Rolling Stone" are based in the philosophy of the Beat movement in the 1950's and 1960's in America, which were heavily influenced by the tenets of Eastern mysticism and European romanticism…
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Explore how Bob Dylan portrays transient figures in Like a Rolling Stone, and discuss how these portrayals contribute to t

Download file to see previous pages... Bob Dylan was growing up personally and evolving his music in the context of the early Beat movement at this time. However, what was an underground movement in the early 60’s rapidly became mainstream with the Beatles and other rock groups gaining mass popularity in 1965. This transition can be seen on Bob Dylan’s album “Bringing it Back Home” (1965), which included one side of folk songs in the style he had popularized and come to be known by, and the other side featuring Dylan’s first electric guitar based rock songs. (Kemp, 2001) Thus, in the classic song “Like a Rolling Stone,” Dylan composed a morality tale in the style of an anthem addressed particularly to this division within the movement, discussing the different aspects involved with the mystical and revolutionary path of the underground when it meets the mainstream acceptance and propagation. Eastern Mysticism rooted in Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Yoga, and Sufism was highly influential on the Beat Poets of the 1950’s and forms the metaphysical basis for many of their works of literature. Bob Dylan can be considered highly influenced by the Beats, and also widely read in their literature at the time. This influence can be seen in the counter-culture lifestyle promoted by Dylan in his music. As Dylan biographer Sean Wilentz wrote in a New Yorker article on the Beats titled “Penetrating Aether: The Beat Generation and Allen Ginsberg’s America,” “Dylan knew the poems, Ginsberg later claimed. ‘Someone handed me Mexico City Blues in St. Paul in 1959,’ Dylan told him. ‘It blew my mind.’ It was the first poetry he’d read that spoke his own American language, Dylan said—or so Ginsberg said he said. Maybe, maybe not. Without question, though, Dylan read Mexico City Blues and was deeply interested in Beat writing before he left Minneapolis for New York. (Like other Beats and hipsters, his friend Tony Glover ordered a paperback copy of William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch from France, where it had been published by Olympia Press in Paris in 1959 as The Naked Lunch— uncertain whether the book, deemed obscene by American authorities, would clear customs. The book indeed arrived, and Glover lent it to Dylan, who returned it after a couple of weeks.) And Dylan’s involvement with the writings of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, and the rest of the Beat generation is nearly as essential to Dylan’s biography as his immersion in rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and then Woody Guthrie. ‘I came out of the wilderness and just naturally fell in with the Beat scene, the bohemian, Be Bop crowd, it was all pretty much connected,’ Dylan said in 1985. ‘It was Jack Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, Ferlinghetti … I got in at the tail end of that and it was magic … it had just as big an impact on me as Elvis Presley.’” (Wilentz, 2010) Rolling Stone magazine states that Bob Dylan was the first musician of the modern era to have his lyrics considered by critics and the public to be works of literature. (Kemp, 2001) In this regard, Bob Dylan can be considered a Beat Poet, and his music concerts were played in venues with audiences made up of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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