The land created me. I’m wild and lonesome…
Do you get the sense that the way Dylan sees things is somehow Greek, like everything and everyone has value only if they are a potent symbol of something bigger, something epic? Take this interview, from the UK Times Online, in which he (in a first!) describes how he came to be an early admirer of Obama:
BF: You liked Barack Obama early on. Why was that?BD: I’d read his book and it intrigued me.
BF: Audacity of Hope?
BD: No it was called Dreams of My Father.
BF: What struck you about him?BD: Well, a number of things. He’s got an interesting background. He’s like a fictional character, but he’s real. First off, his mother was a Kansas girl. Never lived in Kansas though, but with deep roots. You know, like Kansas bloody Kansas. John Brown the insurrectionist. Jesse James and Quantrill. Bushwhackers, Guerillas. Wizard of Oz Kansas. I think Barack has Jefferson Davis back there in his ancestry someplace. And then his father. An African intellectual. Bantu, Masai, Griot type heritage – cattle raiders, lion killers. I mean it’s just so incongruous that these two people would meet and fall in love. You kind of get past that though. And then you’re into his story. Like an odyssey except in reverse.
BF: In what way?
BD: First of all, Barack is born in Hawaii. Most of us think of Hawaii as paradise – so I guess you could say that he was born in paradise.
BF: What else did you find compelling about him?
BD: Well, mainly his take on things. His writing style hits you on more than one level. It makes you feel and think at the same time and that is hard to do. He says profoundly outrageous things. He’s looking at a shrunken head inside of a glass case in some museum with a bunch of other people and he’s wondering if any of these people realize that they could be looking at one of their ancestors.
BF: There is a certain sensibility, but I’m not sure how that connects?
BD: It must be the Southern air. It’s filled with rambling ghosts and disturbed spirits. They’re all screaming and forlorning. It’s like they are caught in some weird web – some purgatory between heaven and hell and they can’t rest. They can’t live, and they can’t die. It’s like they were cut off in their prime, wanting to tell somebody something. It’s all over the place. There are war fields everywhere … a lot of times even in people’s backyards.
F: Are you a mystical person?
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. I think I have a dualistic nature. I’m more of an adventurous type than a relationship type.
Also, Newsweek, of all places, has an exclusive of a new track. Check it out.