Richard ThomasFriday, April 27, 2018 @ 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
(1.5 hrs. approximate run time)
Join us for a reading with Richard Thomas who will be presenting his new book, Why Bob Dylan Matters. This event is co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Classics
Bob Dylan, master of the English language and the greatest songwriter of the last half century, has become a classic. His song is here to stay, and belongs with other classics, going back to T. S. Eliot, Shakespeare, ultimately to Homer and Virgil, the greatest poets of Greece and Rome—poets whose lyrics Dylan has been channeling in recent decades. In his memoir Chronicles, Volume One (2004), a creative work as much like a novel as an autobiography, Dylan talks about the three ingredients of his songwriting: experience, observation and imagination. In Why Bob Dylan Matters (HarperCollins 2017) I explore all three elements, revealing how the imaginative mind of Dylan has across the years transformed a wealth of things seen, heard, read and experienced into a written and performed art that will not see its equal. Like that of Virgil or Eliot, his is a voice for the ages, a modern classic.
Richard F. Thomas is George Martin Lane Professor of the Classics at Harvard University. He was educated at the University of Auckland (BA 1972, MA, 1973) and The University of Michigan (PhD 1977). His teaching and research interests are focused on Hellenistic Greek and Roman literature (chiefly Callimachus, Theocritus, Catullus, Virgil, Horace, Propertius, Ovid, Tacitus), intertextuality, translation and translation theory, the reception of classical literature, and the works of Bob Dylan. Publications include more than 100 articles and reviews and the following books: Lands and Peoples in Roman Poetry: The Ethnographical Tradition (1982), Reading Virgil and his Texts. Studies in Intertextuality (1999), Virgil and the Augustan Reception (2001), Why Bob Dylan Matters (2017); commentaries on Virgil, Georgics (1988) and Horace, Odes 4 and Carmen Saeculare (2011). He has co-edited and contributed to Classics and the Uses of Reception (2006), Bob Dylan’s Performance Artistry (2007), the Virgil Encyclopedia (2014), and is the author of Why Bob Dylan Matters (2017).