The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142469   Message #3285327
Posted By: Amos
05-Jan-12 - 12:55 PM
Thread Name: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
Subject: RE: Why didn't MacColl like Dylan?
It is interesting, the sort of snobbism that greets Dylan. It strikes me that my earlier point about the disconnect between the British idiom and the American idiom, born out of very different histories and inevitably different icons resulting therefrom, is very much to the point. Dylan's adopted metier, following Guthrie, is very much a blend of the American threads and styles, the road-walker, day-worker, blues-infected cowboy-dreamer, Kerouacian wanderer, singing the song of Self writ large in big country. If you were not suckled on Carl Sandburg and SHorty Badger and Bessie Smith, you would be hard put to understand the flavors that made Dylan rich. And rich he was, I assert, regardless of the fact (which I think EM was also objecting to) that his was an elective identity, cultivated and pursued as a career, rather than an organic identity born in a wild heather patch or shepherd's watch somewhere.

The British traditional threads that culminated in EM's brilliance respect different virtues--musically different, lyrically rich but in different dimensions of meaning, and informed by a very different set of attitudes, grown in a different country with a different scale to it. What McColl was probably reacting to in his snippy way was this collision of worlds, and I suspect it made him feel uneasy, if not threatened.