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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

June 03, 2005

unholy greil

i’ve been reading bob dylan’s chronicles ever since santa read my xmas list and put it in my stocking. yes, i’m taking it real slow, because it’s as great as everyone says it is and I want to savour each line, and because i’m pessimistic. even though it’s only volume one, i’m not counting on any other volumes being published. he writes brilliantly, makes it seem effortless, and it reads beautifully.

last week I started like a rolling stone, by that buffoon greil marcus. i didn’t want to get it, because i hate marcus, but on the other hand i love the subject matter, so my hand was forced. i’m trying to read it as quickly as possible because I hate to be in the company of this author, however vicariously. where dylan’s digressions in chronicles always make sense and magically come back to the subject in hand, marcus just irritates as he stretches connections until they snap. when I took acid I had this wonderful revelation that everything in the world was somehow connected to everything else. marcus makes me seriously reconsider this.

this is the man who thought self portrait was shit. context is everything. i suppose people were expecting the next installment of truth when it was released, and when it came along it was the sort of truth they couldn’t deal with. personally, i put it in my top five dylan albums, which might sound like faint praise until you consider that it’s up against blonde on blonde, blood on the tracks, highway 61 revisited, time out of mind, desire, the basement tapes etc. people like marcus had put me off trying self portrait, but eventually curiosity got the better of me, thank god.

dancing about architecture? greil marcus is fred astaire.


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