Response to the readings
Bob Dylan’s autobiographical book Chronicles throws light on the development of folk music in the United States, American identity, and certainly, the personality of the author. The readers can see that at the beginning of Bob Dylan’s career, folk music was not very popular. For instance, it is possible to mention Bob Dylan’s conversation with the manager of a recording company that did not have any idea about this musical genre1.
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Overall, this book demonstrates that in the fifties and sixties, the musicians, who represented this style, did not achieve either critical or commercial success. Many of them came from small towns like Duluth where Bob Dylan was born. This is one of the issues identified in Luc Sante’s article I is Someone Else2. To some degree, this autobiography shows how folk culture was evolving at that time.
Apart from that, this book is interesting since it explores some elements of American identity. In particular, this book can show people living in this country struggled against heavy odds in order to achieve success. Moreover, many of them were not afraid of hardships or challenges. To a great extent, this character trait is typical of Bob Dylan. In particular, one can mention that he went to New York from northern Minnesota in a freight train3. This is one of the details that astonished the managers of recording companies.
Overall, this book can be of great interest to people who enjoy folk music. Moreover, it can be a powerful source of inspiration for young musicians who attempt to become successful. Certainly, this text is written from the perspective of a single person who can be impartial or biased. Nevertheless, the author succeeds in showing the transformation of the country and its culture.
Dylan, Bob. Chronicles: Volume One. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004.
Sante, Luc. “I Is Someone Else.” The New York Review of Books, 2005. Web.
- Bob Dylan. Chronicles: Volume One (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004), 7.
- Luc Sante. “I Is Someone Else.” The New York Review of Books, 2005. Web.
- Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One, 7.