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Harvard Prof Offers Freshman Seminar on Bob Dylan

Harvard Prof Offers Freshman Seminar on Bob Dylan

Like a rolling stone.

Now that Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, this seminar has a bit more gravitas than it would have in years past.

The New York Times reports:

Bob Dylan 101: A Harvard Professor Has the Coolest Class on Campus

For the Harvard classics professor Richard F. Thomas, who has been gently teased by colleagues for teaching a freshman seminar about Bob Dylan — as well as for the students who sometimes get double takes for choosing the course — the announcement of the newest Nobel laureate in literature was hailed as vindication. And cause to break out celebratory cupcakes at the fortuitously timed Thursday afternoon session.

Mr. Thomas uses the course, simply called “Bob Dylan,” to put the artist in context of not just popular culture of the last half-century, but the tradition of classical poets like Virgil and Homer. The class follows Mr. Dylan’s career chronologically, listening to selections from most of his dozens and dozens of albums while also reading his memoir, “Chronicles,” which Mr. Thomas calls in the course description “a work of genius, a sprawling Dylan prose song posing as an autobiography.”

One of the coolest things is learning about Bob Dylan from a world expert on Virgil,” said Ethan McCollister, 18, from East Montpelier, Vt. “Both are poets, and both are lyricists even more than that.”


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Let us hope this is not for credit.
And while Dylan had some great works (I think Like A Rolling Stone is still considered in the top 5 rock songs), was he really as good a poet as Arthur Lee or Brian MacLean of Love?