Bob Dylan Speaks To Edgar Allan Poe

1023 words - 5 pages

There is an undeniable intertextuality between Bob Dylan’s compositions and Edgar Allan Poe’s Literature. Christopher Rollason, author of Tell-Tale Signs - Edgar Allan Poe and Bob Dylan has written an article on this matter of intertextuality between the latter artists. This paper will endeavor on Rollason’s credentials, the disciplines used, the techniques used by Rollason to persuade the audience of this intertextuality, beginning with a brief summary of the article.
Tell-Tale Signs - Edgar Allan Poe and Bob Dylan, Rollason shows numerous examples where Dylan has used Poe’s work to inspire him in his lyrical composition as well as musical compositions. He begins with a brief introduction to Dylan and Poe’s careers contrasting them to who they really were as artists compared to what the media has portrayed them to be and what they are mostly known for. He begins by portraying, through Dylan’s words the admiration for Poe that Dylan had, from his book Tarantula and an interview from 2004. He then goes into describing the intertextuality in Dylan’s work to Poe. He explains how Dylan has used full works of Poe’s, such as The Bells and simply put music to it and how other artists have taken poems like Annabel lee and put them to music as well. He then describes many links of intertextuality, for example the song Disease of Conceit is compared to The Tell-Tale Heart. Finally, he explains how Dylan’s intertextuality is furthered through other well known authors such as Ovid, Twain, Virgil and Fitzgerald, and even the lesser known Tim Rod.

Christopher Rollason, has a PhD from the University of York in English. He has written many papers on Edgar Allan Poe. In fact his thesis paper was written on the topic; The Construction of the Subject in the Short Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe. His other works about Poe include; The Poe Bicentennial Year 2009 in Spain and The Character of Phantasm: Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Fall of The House of Usher' and Jorge Luis Borges' 'Tlon, Uqbear, Orbis Tertius'. Rollason’s work is even cited in other works about Poe; A 21st-century Retrospective View About Edgar Allan Poe : Una Mirada Retrospectiva Sobre Edgar Allan Poe Desde El Siglo XXI.

In this paper, Rollason uses three main disciplines: Literary studies, Comparative Literature and Cultural studies. Literary studies addresses the cultural, political, social, psychological and historical elements in literature, which ties into this paper through Rollason’s comparison of Dylan and Poe’s work. Comparative Literature is, as defined by Lowry Nelson: "Comparative Literature is … the whole study of the whole of literature as far as one’s mind and life can stretch. By its very scope Comparative Literature … is a presumptuous study.” Comparative literature relates to this article because it encompases aspects outside the realms of music in Dylan’s case and outside that of literature in Poe’s case as well as accept interpretations and examples from other areas other than the...

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