A Norwegian Bestseller

Agora: Journal for Metaphysical Speculation” — sounds exciting, right? If one is not thrilled by the prospects of 450 pages of metaphysical speculation, it may make it more interesting to know that well over 300 of them are about Bob Dylan. . .

Agora is a scholarly journal of philosophy, which in my early university days was a major source of inspiration. It was therefore a great honour to be asked to write an article for it for an upcoming special issue about Dylan. Now it’s out, and apparently it is sold out already, at least in the Oslo area.
I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but it looks good, with articles about the lyrical project in the Basement Tapes; about the borrowings from Ovid on *Modern Times*; Dylan’s relationship with various American poetic genres (blues, Allen Ginsberg); his voice; his meandering path around folk music; and about the reception of “his” tradition in Norway. There is also an article by Christopher Ricks in Norwegian translation, and translations of the Playboy interview from 1966 and of some song lyrics.

All in all a very nice collection of essays. The bias towards lyrical and “sociological”(-ish) analysis is somewhat balanced out by the article about “Dylan the Musician” by yours truly.

Thus, if you can read Norwegian and want something to lighten up the September evenings, this might be it.

If you can get hold of a copy, that is.


4 thoughts on “A Norwegian Bestseller

  1. ahh, i’d love to support you, but i don’t speak norwegian. any chance of an english translation appearing one day?

  2. As a matter of fact, there is. I started working on one, but then other things came in the way. I do intend to finish it, though.
    It’s very strange, btw, writing in my own language, since I do most of my work in English. Especially writing about Dylan, where my vocabulary is only English, which meant that the article was mostly written, mentally, in English and then ‘translated’ into Norwegian as I was writing…

    As for the other articles, which are all worth reading, I don’t know what is going to happen.

  3. It’s too bad I don’t speak Norwegian. I’d love to find an English translation.

    p.s btw, your Dylanchords page is such an amazing resource. I’ve learned quite a bit. Great work.

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