A way-more-than-usually-revealing interview with Dylan is on the fansite Expecting Rain. For those that pay attention to these things, there are many tidbits to ponder. (This in addition to the fact that we now know Dylan is a Cylon, whatever that means.) Anyhow, herewith the excerpt:
How do you find subject matter?
I just draw what’s interesting to me, and then I paint it. Rows of houses, orchard acres, lines of tree trunks, could be anything. I can take a bowl of fruit and turn it into a life and death drama. Women are power figures, so I depict them that way. I can find people to paint in mobile home communities. I could paint bourgeois people too. I’m not trying to make social comment or fulfill somebody’s vision and I can find subject matter anywhere. I guess in some way that comes out of the folk world that I came up in.
Say you wake up in a hotel room in Wichita and look out the window. A little girl is walking along the train tracks dragging a big statue of Buddha in a wooden wagon with a three-legged dog following behind. Do you reach for your guitar or your drawing pad?
Oh wow. It would depend on a lot of things. The environment mostly; like what kind of day is it. Is it a cloudless blue-gray sky or does it look like rain? A little girl dragging a wagon with a statue in it? I’d probably put that in last. The three-legged dog – what type? A spaniel, a bulldog, a retriever? That would make a difference. I’d have to think about that. Depends what angle I’m seeing it all from. Second floor, third floor, eighth floor. I don’t know. Maybe I’d want to go down there. The train tracks too. I’d have to find a way to connect it all up. I guess I would be thinking about if this was an omen or a harbinger of something.
A harbinger of something.
Everybody has dreams, too. (“Dreams can lead us up a blind alley. Everybody has dreams…some take on the tone of prophesy.”)
When Dylan released Love & Theft, my favorite of the recent triology, the date was 9/11/2001. Filled with harbingers of something, lucidly told.
And here we are.