Faculty Scholarship

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Rock Music Studies

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Blonde on Blonde epitomizes Bob Dylan’s debts to the classics. The album depicts the mythic quest of a hipster-hero descending into the Underworld in pursuit of the Muse. The hero resembles Dylan but is augmented by the experiences of mythic figures like Orpheus and Odysseus. The singer encounters bizarre figures and wanders in exile through the “Lowlands” searching for the goddess—a figure inspired by Sara Dylan, but also a composite of the White Goddess, Persephone, Eurydice, and others. Dylan’s mythic adaptations are also informed by the syncretic work of T.S. Eliot, Joseph Campbell, and Robert Graves.