Barack Obama, Ulysses Grant and American Civil War Ghosts

In anticipation of Bob Dylan’s new album ("Together Through Life," out at the end of the month), author Bill Flanagan interviewed him for Times Online.  The interview covers everything under the sun, and Dylan’s as weird as ever, but the chat is fascinating for its glimpses of how the old polymath’s mind works--the way he connects visual images to intellectual concepts, how idiosyncratic and yet broad his intellectual tastes have become, and how much he stresses the importance of geography to spirituality, self-identity and culture.

For example:

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BF: Are you a mystical person?

BD: Absolutely.

BF: Any thoughts about why?

BD: I think it’s the land. The streams, the forests, the vast emptiness. The land created me. I’m wild and lonesome. Even as I travel the cities, I‘m more at home in the vacant lots. But I have a love for humankind, a love of truth, and a love of justice.

P.S.  Some more thoughts on the new Dylan album from the New Yorker’s Alex Ross, who is usually fairly good on Dylan.

Jim Keane, SJ

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