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Dylan at sixty

Bob is 60 in May, and he's just as good as Keats. So why didn't the song-and-dance man become a saint of high culture long ago?

By Aidan Day   April 2001

Bob Dylan at the Azkena rock festival, 2010

“I just can’t fit” sang Dylan in 1966, five years into a career that has now lasted four decades. Not fitting has been his hallmark. It’s been the compulsion of his career. He has inhabited positions to oppose other positions. Then the contrary position has itself been subjected to opposition. It hasn’t been a game or a fashion. It has been a drive-repeatedly frustrated, repeatedly renewed-for meaning: “Shedding off one more layer of skin/Keeping one step ahead of the persecutor within,” as he put it in a 1983 song. The relentless adoption…

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