Friday, June 16, 2017


Last night I tried to imagine what my friend Rob Zseleczky might have said about about the traces of CliffsNotes and SparkNotes in Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize lecture. “He’s an outlaw, Michael,” I imagined Rob saying. “He doesn’t care what you think of him.” And then I imagined Rob laughing helplessly: “CliffsNotes!”

comments: 2

Berit said...

I think an enormous majority of the public would think that any of us who have a problem with the plagiarized origins of those flimsy-yet-labored sentences in Dylan's remarks are compete pedants. Without knowing even knowing the word "pedant". Too much negativity bias from my brain?

Michael Leddy said...

No, I don’t think it’s too much negativity. A good number of the comments at Slate say, more or less, “So what?” But what Dylan did in his lecture isn’t a matter of folk tradition, nor is it a matter of modernist collage. It’s the same thing that some high-school and college students do. If he’d been a student in one of my classes, I’d give him the option to drop, and I’d be sending a report over to Student Affairs. If this be pedantry, make the most of it. :)