[OT] Re: [RRgraphix] TL.rev . . .

Charles Hartman charles.hartman at conncoll.edu
Thu Dec 15 08:15:09 EST 2005

<sorry! sorry!>

That complaint about Dylan, which has been around for 40 years, rests  
on several profound misunderstandings. First, of folk music, the  
medium in which Dylan began. Second, of  how art works and how  
artists work. (T. S. Eliot: "Bad poets borrow. Great poets steal."  
Every poem enters, and alters, a vast context of other poems.) Third,  
of how audiences work. In "Sweetheart Like You" he sings, "They say  
that patriotism is the last refuge / To which a scoundrel clings. /  
Steal a little and they throw you in jail, / Steal a lot and they  
make you king." The first half is lifted from Dr Johnson ("Patriotism  
is the last refuge of a scoundrel." Boswell, Life of Johnson, October  
18, 1769), and recognizing it gives complicated pleasure, because it  
sounds so odd in the mouth of that song's narrator. And the second  
half of Dylan's stanza? It's certainly nor original, but is he  
stealing it?

</sorry! sorry!>

Charles Hartman

On Dec 15, 2005, at 12:20 AM, Judy Perry wrote:

> It's been mentioned that Dylan has an, um, appropriation problem:
> http://www.bigmagic.com/pages/blackj/column95l4.html
> Judy

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