The power of Bob Dylan’s art includes an ability to draw you in and make you feel included, to make you believe. It’s his job, and he’s one of the best at this job that there’s ever been. More and more frequently Dylan chooses to mess with his audience at the same time. In “You Can’t Catch Me” Chuck Berry sings, “Baby you can't catch me/'Cause if you get too close, you know I'm gone like a cool breeze.” A look at Dylan’s latest exhibition, The Beaten Path, shows Dylan sending us a version of this “I’m gone” message, while simultaneously creating that feeling of openness and camaraderie.

In the beginning of November 2016, the longest piece of writing from Dylan in quite a while was posted by Vanity Fair.
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I imagine Robert Zimmerman being annoyed upon learning that Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. Robert Zimmerman is not a Bob Dylan fan, and he’s especially not a fan of Bob Dylan’s fans. Literature is Robert Zimmerman’s game.

You might know Robert Zimmerman by a couple of his pen names. He’s Robert Alexander, author of The New York Times best seller The Kitchen Boy. He’s also mystery writer R.D. Zimmerman.
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On his “Love And Theft” album from 2001 Bob Dylan, through lyrical and musical appropriation, crafted the album’s opening song “Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum” to operate as a secret answer record, or meta-response, to the Grateful Dead’s “Uncle John’s Band.” Dylan is responding to a series of allusions used by Robert Hunter.
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In 2006 poet and critic Stephen Scobie, author of Alias Bob Dylan, presented a paper titled "WHISKEY SAUCE: or, CHRONICLES: VOLUME TWO." In it he devotes a substantial chunk to exploring a "apparently simple or inconsequential" passage from Dylan’s Chronicles: Volume One. Scobie was right to be intrigued by the passage, but his analysis came up short, in that he missed a fascinating thing that Dylan does with the writing of Ernest Hemingway.
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"Lots of places to hide things, you want to hide them bad enough. Ain't like Easter eggs, like Christmas presents. Like life and death." - Larry Brown, “Kubuku Rides (This Is It)”

For April Fool's Day 2012 I posted an essay that demonstrates how Bob Dylan incorporated an encounter with an artist who exists only as an April Fool's Day joke into his book Chronicles: Volume One.
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"I search for phrases to sing your praises" - Johnny Mercer, "Too Marvelous For Words"

I wanted to read Jon Friedman's new book Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution, which is essentially a self-help book using the life and career of Bob Dylan as a template, because I was intrigued by one of the chapter titles. His eighth chapter is titled "Marry a Mermaid" and I wanted to see what he was getting at there.
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"Well, I'm a genuine scoopologist, the name is Crow/Sitting up here, watching the show/In this one horse drive-through, forsaken, dried up piece of the world" - Marty Stuart, "The Observations of a Crow"

What struck me most about the tale of Jonah Lehrer and the fabricated Dylan quotes in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works was the cover-up story.
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Name me someone that’s not a parasite and I’ll go out and say a prayer for him – "Visions Of Johanna"

With the approach of April Fool's Day I've found myself drawn to a passage that appears in the LIFE special edition on Bob Dylan, Forever Young: 50 Years Of Song, which will be continue to be available on newsstands for the next few months.
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I noticed Austin Kleon, author of the forthcoming book Steal Like an Artist, recently tweeted about my 2010 post "The Strange Case of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell & Michael Stipe," which regards allegations of plagiarism directed at Dylan by Mitchell.
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