Bob Dylan Walks with Ghosts

Bill Flanagan at Times Online has an interview with Bob Dylan.  They talk about Dylan’s impressions of Barack Obama’s writing in Dreams of My Father.  It seems that Dylan considers the president to be a pretty good writer, capable of making readers think and feel at the same time.  He thinks Obama says some ‘profoundly outrageous things.’  I always enjoy the slightly argumentative way Bob Dylan answers questions.  So often, when an interviewer thinks something is obvious, Dylan says, ‘not exactly,’ and goes on to carefully explain how the interviewer is wrong.

Dylan talks about ghosts in the American South:

It must be the Southern air. It’s filled with rambling ghosts and disturbed spirits. They’re all screaming and forlorning. It’s like they are caught in some weird web – some purgatory between heaven and hell and they can’t rest.

Then this:

BF: Are you a mystical person?

BD: Absolutely.

BF: Any thoughts about why?

BD: I think it’s the land. The streams, the forests, the vast emptiness. The land created me. I’m wild and lonesome. Even as I travel the cities, I‘m more at home in the vacant lots. But I have a love for humankind, a love of truth, and a love of justice. I think I have a dualistic nature. I’m more of an adventurous type than a relationship type.

BF: But the album is all about love – love found, love lost, love remembered, love denied.

BD: Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.

Anyone who talks that way is definitely going to be able to sell me some music.  I will be all ears and I will walk around for months trying to find those ghosts.  If he says they’re there, then they are.