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Dylan

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effectiveness as if researchers for Consumer Reports.

I was read the riot act by an acquaintance who criticized my taking exception to a book, his favoring its point of view. That favoritism is not the purview of a reviewer.

My bête noire is speculation: Such error and omission signals inadequate research and disregard for accuracy. Additionally Heylin’s new biography is so poorly edited that it appears unedited.

These failures are unfortunate. A compelling biography of Bob Dylan is overdue.

Dylan was the 2016 Nobel Laureate in Literature. He is the only troubadour so lauded. It is important to appreciate Dylan’s virtuosity. Dylan mastered American song and carried it to a higher level, conveying a different epoch in the American experience. Failing to grasp Dylan’s accomplishments impoverishes an individual, intellectually and culturally.

Dylan may be the most important American musician ever. The only lyricist coming close is Cole Porter, in my estimation. The only musicians approximating him might be Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Hank Williams and Elvis Presley. I maintain that Elvis innovated to such extent that he created a watershed: before Elvis and after Elvis. The same can be said of The Beatles to a lesser degree. I overlooked Dylan: mea culpa. His electrifying American folk song — marrying it to rock ’n’ roll — opened the canon to new interpretations and possibilities, offering avenues of expression which may never be exhausted.

I have known Dylan’s maternal family for many years. It cannot be fully emphasized that his stable, expansive extended family provided a springboard for success which might have eluded him otherwise.

Dylan did not self-destruct as did Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison. Dylan enjoyed a sense of well-being and a work ethic from which to examine new horizons “without becoming untethered from his moorings.”

His relative with whom I am closest and I recognize that a Mississippi River cultural corridor exists and that Minnesota and Mississippi are more alike than different — ditto other states along the Mississippi River. Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota, is about the size of Greenwood, Mississippi.

The stories that I have heard — the womenfolk talking on the telephone and the menfolk fishing, hunting and owning sporting dogs — are much the same as in the Deep South. Greenwich Village Bohemian is acquired affectation.

Dylan’s definitive biographer must wrestle with these realities. Heylin does not. The world awaits worthy analysis. One should obtain a copy quickly once that day arrives.

Jay Wiener is a Jackson attorney.

His relative with whom I am closest and I recognize that a Mississippi River cultural corridor exists and that Minnesota and Mississippi are more alike than different — ditto other states along the Mississippi River. Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota, is about the size of Greenwood, Mississippi.

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