Monday, January 28, 2019

Dylan Meets Archibald MacLeish, Praises Him?

In his Chronicles, Volume 1 (Simon and Schuster, 2004), Bob Dylan recalls meeting Archibald MacLeish, who was planning to write a play called Scratch, loosely based on Stephen Vincent BenĂ©t's story The Devil and Daniel Webster, and MacLeish wanted Dylan to write the songs.

That didn't work out, but Dylan seemingly came away with a positive impression of the man:
"He possessed more knowledge of mankind and its vagaries than most men acquire in a lifetime." (129)
Sounds like high praise, but is it? Strictly speaking, to be wiser than most people at the end of one's life is only moderate praise.

So what did Dylan mean? I suppose he meant well . . .

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