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Chronicles de Bob Dylan
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Chronicles (2004 original; edició 2005)

de Bob Dylan

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
3,870642,341 (3.9)59
"I'd come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else." So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles: Volume One, his remarkable book exploring critical junctures in his life and career. Through Dylan's eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village, circa 1961, when he first arrives in Manhattan. Dylan's New York is a magical city of possibilities -- smoky, nightlong parties; literary awakenings; transient loves and unbreakable friendships. Elegiac observations are punctuated by jabs of memories, penetrating and tough. With the book's side trips to New Orleans, Woodstock, Minnesota and points west, Chronicles: Volume One is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of extraordinary times. By turns revealing, poetical, passionate and witty, Chronicles: Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan's thoughts and influences. Dylan's voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles: Volume One into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.… (més)
Membre:Hardboiled
Títol:Chronicles
Autors:Bob Dylan
Informació:Simon & Schuster (2005), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:jpr

Detalls de l'obra

Chronicles: Volume One de Bob Dylan (2004)

  1. 10
    Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir de Anatole Broyard (bertilak)
  2. 10
    Bob Dylan: The Illustrated Record de Alan Rinzler (gust)
  3. 10
    A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties de Suze Rotolo (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Dylan's girlfriend's memoirs of life in the Village in the early 1960s
  4. 00
    Who I Am de Pete Townshend (br77rino)
    br77rino: Both of these autobiographies are surprisingly honest, and great reads. Dylan's especially breaks away from a lot of the conventional (i.e., media-concocted) descriptions of these guys.
  5. 00
    Het verhaal van De Nieuwe Snaar de Kris De Smet (gust)
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This book was published in 2004 and so far it is the only volume of Chronicles that I am aware of. Dylan has always told stories and one could never believe them, so I am pretty sure that even though he tells his story now he remains an unreliable narrator. Dylan's music was an important element of my musical interest, but his later material has only infrequently had my attention. Nevertheless, if I made a list of my 25 favorite albums of my life Dylan would have three, maybe even four albums in it. I think Blood on the Tracks is one of the best albums ever created by anyone. So Dylan's greatest work - does it get a mention here? Uh, no. But I coulda missed a clue somewhere. Some mysterious signs and portents somewhere.

Dylan landed in New York City in the dead of winter when he was just 20 years old. That is where the Chronicles begins. Dylan tells a story like one of his songs. Reading this unusual memoir was easy and very interesting much of the time. It was also hard. Wikipedia etc became my friend. There is a lot of stuff missing here and at times the manner of telling is odd. He becomes incomprehensible to me at times when describing things like some new singing or musical technique. Is he flimflamming me the reader? He does not dwell on negative stuff other than the impact that being famous had on him trying to have a family life with an increasing number of children. and unnamed wives frequently referred to as "my wife" who I think was Sara in most early references. Who he seems to have adored. What happened? Never says. There is a lot of stuff about Dylan in here I never knew about, particularly concerning his long absences.

His discussions and observations on things can be very interesting. Overall entertaining if a bit unsatisfying at times. Ultimately I was bothered by his slapdash handling of almost everything. For example he completely ignores the creation of his greatest albums. In fact he ignores the creation of a lot of things and when he does give one like the 'New Morning' album it is seriously lacking. For example, he discusses Charlie Daniels at some length and mentions Russ Kunkel on drums but he makes no mention of George Harrison being there and the recording of the most popular song from the album, "If Not For You". The song was ultimately re-recorded several times and the version with Harrison didn't come out until 1991 with the first Bootleg Series box set (a release of such great material that it revitalized my personal interest in Dylan's music and history).

He does go into great detail over the creation of one of his albums. An entire (the longest) chapter, one of five, is spent in New Orleans with Daniel Lanois and the creation of an album I don't recall ever listening to: "Oh Mercy"

The last chapter is perhaps the best one in the book. It should have been the first chapter, but that isn't how Dylan tells this story. ( )
  RBeffa | Apr 20, 2021 |
"I know that he wanted to understand me more as we went along, but you can't do that, not unless you like to do puzzles. I think in the end, he gave up on that." (pg. 218)

One of the few artists of the 20th century who truly stands apart, it is difficult to pin Bob Dylan down and drag him back to the more regulated cultural strata where we can understand and quantify him. This is the case even when he is speaking directly and disarmingly, as he is here, in the first (and, to date, only) volume of Chronicles, his autobiography. Like the producer Daniel Lanois, whom Dylan is referring to in the lines I've quoted above, eventually we give up. We cede the ground and, without irritation, just let this singular artist do his own thing.

Chronicles: Volume One is an unconventional memoir. Its five chapters deal with three different periods of Dylan's long career: the first two with 1961, before he became famous; the third in 1970, during a fallow period; a fourth in 1989, as he tries to engineer a new sound; and then finally a fifth back in 1961-2, with Dylan on the cusp of his unique fame. The content and sequence betray in part the origins of the book (it started with Dylan writing liner notes for re-issues of the relevant albums – Bob Dylan in 1962, New Morning in 1970 and Oh Mercy in 1989), but you also get the feeling that Dylan wouldn't have it any other way. We get nothing on the insane run of creativity from 1963-66, or on the Blood on the Tracks album, but he does briefly discuss his time rapping with Kurtis Blow in the Eighties, of all the things (pg. 219). Like Lanois, you want to understand him more as you go along, but you do have to puzzle it out.

Nevertheless, Dylan manages to cover an astonishing variety even within these peculiar parameters. I first read Chronicles about ten years ago and, thinking back on it, I seemed to remember a powerful piece of writing about Dylan's encounter with Harry Belafonte; that barely struck me this time around. In contrast, I had all but forgotten that Dylan discussed his tour with Tom Petty (even though I was then, and remain, a huge Heartbreakers fan); this time around I found that discussion fascinating. Dylan manages to touch upon, at natural points in the narrative, various personalities he met over the years, whether trifling encounters with the likes of Jack Dempsey, Robert Graves or John Wayne, or with those who had a deeper influence on him, like John Hammond, Dave Van Ronk and Woody Guthrie.

Dylan is particularly good at explaining the influence of various musicians on his own creative outlook; Guthrie especially, though Chronicles also ends with an energizing one-two punch combo about Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Robert Johnson. He's less good at explaining his own creativity, particularly as it appears so feverish (a passage in the chapter on Oh Mercy, where Dylan tries to explain the new songs and vocal techniques he is developing, is clearly reaching for something ineffable but struggles to reach the reader). I've long been trying to formulate an adage that the difference between great writers and average writers is that average writers are trying to explain simple things in a complex way (through big words, fancy techniques, etc.) whereas great writers are trying to explain complex things as simply as possible. I felt something similar in reading Dylan as he tried to express his creative direction: normal artists are trying to be special, whereas Dylan, feverishly atop the strange artistic hierarchy, is a special one trying to be normal.

Certainly, one of the most striking aspects of Chronicles, and Dylan's personality in general, is his determination to be normal and conventional. In conversation, I often use 'catch rainbow trout', a lyric from 'Sign on the Window', one of his New Morning era songs, as a byword for the sort of domestic contentment Dylan is striving for. He wants out of the "rat race" (pg. 114) but is also "fantasizing about… a nine-to-five existence, a house on a tree-lined block with a white picket fence, pink roses in the backyard… That was my deepest dream" (pg. 117). In the Eighties, he buys 'World's Greatest Grandpa' mugs (pg. 209). He never wanted to be a countercultural icon in the Sixties – "I had no ambitions to stir things up. I just thought of mainstream culture as lame as hell and a big trick" (pg. 35) – and bristles at the attempts to get him to lead a movement (pg. 119). By 1970, he's completely fed up with the hippies and gatecrashers: "I wanted to set fire to these people" (pg. 117). While never a reactionary or a get-off-my-lawn type, he's also not the rebel agitator, "the Big Bubba of Rebellion, High Priest of Protest"; "whatever the counterculture was, I'd seen enough of it" (pg. 120). He stands astride the divide, while also hoping people with dirty feet don't use him as a bridge – or set fire to said bridge.

For someone with such a strange position in our culture, and who remains so enigmatic even as he carries us across the pages of a dedicated autobiography, Dylan is remarkably self-aware. He says it's "nice to be known as a legend, and people will pay to see one, but for most people, once is enough" (pg. 147). It says a lot that, even on a second read, his legend takes on new and ever more inscrutable dimensions – most 'legends' don't even stand up to a single glance. Chronicles can sound like a performance at times ("The last time I'd seen her, she was heading West" (pg. 60)), but when this happens it never appears to be out of conceit, a desire to wow the audience with stream-of-consciousness verbosity. Instead, whenever he eludes discussion of more conventional memoir topics like his family (his wife is mentioned but never named) or his relationship with Suze Rotolo (the lady on the cover of the Freewheelin' album), it has the appearance of practiced shields and well-oiled countermeasures. He's been throwing up these puzzles and magic signs to bamboozle interlopers for a long time now.

And why not? The interest in Dylan ought not to be in his Minnesotan hometown or his children, but in his unique creative take on things. The literary quality of Chronicles is rarely overt (an exception being "sometimes all it takes is a wink or a nod from some unexpected place to vary the tedium of a baffling existence" on page 43), but it takes technical skill to establish this voice and maintain it during a non-linear narrative. To do so with some occasional genuine insight, and maintaining the reader's interest, is impressive. When someone comes into writing from a different artistic realm – music having its own unique language – and proves capable of writing well, it's always an experience to be grateful for. When the world's most renowned songwriter describes songs as "like strange countries that you have to enter" (pg. 165), you sit up and pay attention. When he describes his legendary image as "a fictitious head of state from a place nobody knows" (pg. 147), you realise he's been to so many of those strange countries which nobody knows, and has been crowned there. Our enduring fascination with his remarkable far-off conquests is never puzzling – how could we not be fascinated? – even if, partly by design, the man behind the legend remains so. ( )
1 vota MikeFutcher | Apr 17, 2021 |
Pus a half star. I enjoyed the book more as I went along, and the more I read the better I liked the early parts. I enjoyed the voice of the author and either he kept diaries or he has a cutting memory or a lot of it is more poetry than autobiography. I think the writing is great and fits the subject. One thing is certain - he was very young when he hit New York and it gave me a feel for his toughness and vulnerability. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
Fantastic, roving autobiography that swings through Dylan's life through music, his love of it, and how it shaped him. Written with a troubadour's flourish it sails smoothly through different points in the songwriter's life, starting and ending at the beginning. From the only Nobel Prize laureate with a Christmas album. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Bob Dylan is perhaps the best popular American songwriter/poet in the past century. Dylan, as he admits in this memoir/autobiography, was not the best student in high school, but he taught himself how to write by imitating the lyrical and musical work of the best folk artists of the day.

Although Dylan is known for his social conscience, in this work, he eschews that he ever aspired to dabble in contemporary politics. He claims - over and over - that he only wanted to be a true folk artist. Although he was popularly known for running away from the public spotlight, he claims that the press forced him to live this life. In so doing, he claims his persona is false - or at the very least, misguided.

Dylan would not be the first artist to claim that popularity hurt his/her life. I'm sure there is a solid nugget of truth in that claim. Nonetheless, Dylan appears to have nurtured this persona in his public portrayal of himself in pursuit of his artistic vision.

Either way, Dylan's passion for songwriting comes through in this work. Most of this book dwells upon how Dylan's unique and brilliant style came about through the deep study of others' poetry and lyrics. Songwriters and poets will find it well worth the time to read, muse, and develop their own styles from Dylan's brilliance. ( )
  scottjpearson | Jan 25, 2020 |
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Bob Dylanautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Bindervoet, ErikTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Carrera, AlessandroTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gellerfelt, MatsTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Lou Levy, top man of Leeds Music Publishing company, took me up in a taxi to the Pythian Temple on West 70th Street to show me the pocket sized recording studio where Bill Haley and His Comets had recorded "Rock Around the Clock"—then down to Jack Dempsey's restaurant on 58th and Broadway, where we sat down in a red leather upholstered booth facing the front window.
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He asked me about my family. I told him about my grandma on my mom's side who lived with us. She was filled with nobility and goodness, told me once that happiness isn't on the road to anything. That happiness is the road. Had also instructed me to be kind because everyone you'll ever meet is fighting a hard battle.
As far as I knew, I didn't belong to anybody then or now. I had a wife and children whom I loved more than anything else in the world. I was trying to provide for them, keep out of trouble, but the big bugs in the press kept promoting me as the mouthpiece, spokesman, or even conscience of a generation. That was funny. All I'd ever done was sing songs that were dead straight and expressed powerful new realities. I had very little in common with and knew even less about a generation that I was supposed to be the voice of.
     …Once in the midsummer madness I was riding in a car with Robbie Robertson, the guitar player in what was later to be called The Band. I felt like I might as well have been living in another part of the solar system.
     He says to me, "Where do you think you're gonna take it?"
     I said, "Take what?"
     "You know, the whole music scene."
     The whole music scene! The car window was rolled down about an inch. I rolled it down the rest of the way, felt a gust of wind blow into my face and waited for what he said to die away—it was like dealing with a conspiracy. No place was far enough away. I don't know what everybody else was fantasizing about, but what I was fantasizing about was a nine-to-five existence, a house on a tree-lined block with a white picket fence, pink roses in the backyard.
     "You a prayin' man, huh? What do you pray for? You pray for the world?"
     (Dylan) I never thought about praying for the world. I said, "I pray that I can be a kinder person."
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"I'd come from a long ways off and had started a long ways down. But now destiny was about to manifest itself. I felt like it was looking right at me and nobody else." So writes Bob Dylan in Chronicles: Volume One, his remarkable book exploring critical junctures in his life and career. Through Dylan's eyes and open mind, we see Greenwich Village, circa 1961, when he first arrives in Manhattan. Dylan's New York is a magical city of possibilities -- smoky, nightlong parties; literary awakenings; transient loves and unbreakable friendships. Elegiac observations are punctuated by jabs of memories, penetrating and tough. With the book's side trips to New Orleans, Woodstock, Minnesota and points west, Chronicles: Volume One is an intimate and intensely personal recollection of extraordinary times. By turns revealing, poetical, passionate and witty, Chronicles: Volume One is a mesmerizing window on Bob Dylan's thoughts and influences. Dylan's voice is distinctively American: generous of spirit, engaged, fanciful and rhythmic. Utilizing his unparalleled gifts of storytelling and the exquisite expressiveness that are the hallmarks of his music, Bob Dylan turns Chronicles: Volume One into a poignant reflection on life, and the people and places that helped shape the man and the art.

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