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Dylan and Lyotard: Is It Happening?

  • Gary Browning
Chapter
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Abstract

Dylan’s career is a long one. In the sphere of rock music and popular culture, it seems an eternity. Its length makes it difficult to capture what it’s about. It is hard enough to encapsulate his contribution to popular music. He has drawn on many styles, from folk to rock, to country, to gospel, via blues and on to swing on his last album Love and Theft. But Dylan is more than a musician and songwriter; he is a cultural icon, who has resisted and played with his popular identity for over 40 years. His music and songs register the pressures and possibilities arising out of this iconic role. Dylan’s engagement with the expectations of popular culture, via entanglement with the media, alerts him to the changing cultural and mediated contexts in which politics operate and to the uneasy interaction of the private and the public. Given the changing contexts of politics and political culture over the last 40 years, it would be hazardous to summarise Dylan’s sense of the political. Marqusee, in The Chimes of Freedom: The Politics of Bob Dylan’s Art, focuses on Dylan’s complex contribution to the civil rights and anti-war movements of the early 1960s (Marqusee 2003).

Keywords

Political World Popular Music Grand Narrative Rock Music Folk Music 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Gary Browning 2004

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  • Gary Browning

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