Bob Dylan and Poets

Mark Ford on poetry, plagiarism and bricolage.

And no poet can be for long unaware that however new a ?mixture? may at first seem, to return to Sterne borrowing from Burton, it is also a pouring ?out of one vessel into another?, the result of love and theft, to quote the title of a book by Eric Lott on the origins of blackface minstrelsy in 1820s and 1830s America, a title itself stolen ? as he acknowledges by the use of quotation marks ? by Bob Dylan for his latest album, ?Love and Theft?. At a 1965 press conference in San Francisco, Dylan was surprised to find himself asked not if he was still a folk singer or a protest singer or the voice of his generation, but if he thought he might ever be hung as a thief. The questioner was Allen Ginsberg, and Dylan, whose loving thefts from a vast and eclectic array of musical and literary sources have kept armies of Dylan researchers busy, could only reply, giggling: ?You weren?t supposed to say that.?

Thanks, Hannah for this link.