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Bob Dylan’s Career as a Blakean Visionary & Romantic

Eugene Stelzig

“Bob Dylan’s Career as a Blakean Visionary and Romantic” was completed in 1976 as an invited contribution to a volume of academic and scholarly essays on Dylan to be published by the Popular Press and edited by Patrick Morrow. After the volume was accepted and the publication contract was signed, the Popular Press reneged on the agreement, apparently because it felt the volume would fall between the cracks: Dylan’s popular fan base would not be interested in a book of academic articles, and academics would not be interested in a pop culture idol. Obviously things have changed considerably in the intervening decades!

This discussion—written almost four decades ago—of the deep affinities between Dylan’s song poetry and the Romantics, especially William Blake, is one of the early “scholarly” as opposed to popular appreciations of Dylan’s art and his oeuvre from his first album up to and including Desire (1976).

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About the Author: Eugene Stelzig

Stelzig has been a Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at SUNY Geneseo since 1972. He has numerous scholarly articles on modern literature and autobiography to his credit and has published books on Wordsworth (1975), Hermann Hesse (1988), Rousseau and Goethe (2000), Henry Crabb Robinson (2010), as well as an edited collection of essays on Romantic Autobiography in England (2009).

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Open Monograph Press Public Knowledge Project

Scholarly Communication and Publishing at Milne Library uses Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and protection, because it has been a powerful presence at Geneseo over the years. She is an apt symbol for a library and library publishing services. Minerva is the catalog of open access publications at the State University of New York, Geneseo College, Milne Library.