With yesterday's release of Tempest, perhaps his darkest effort to date, Bob Dylan has shown that he's still got plenty of fire left in him. And some of that fire is being directed at critics.
Dylan is featured on the latest cover of the new issue of Rolling Stone, which also contains an in-depth interview that touches on a number of topics, including some of the charges made by critics against Dylan regarding his generous use of quotes in song lyrics.
When asked his response to those critics, particularly when quotation has been so big a part of jazz and folk traditions, Dylan had this to say:
"Oh, yeah, in folk and jazz, quotation is a rich and enriching tradition. That certainly is true. It's true for everybody, but me. There are different rules for me. And as far as Henry Timrod is concerned, have you even heard of him? Who's been reading him lately? And who's pushed him to the forefront? Who's been making you read him? And ask his descendants what they think of the hoopla. And if you think it's so easy to quote him and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you can get. Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff. It's an old thing – it's part of the tradition. It goes way back. These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you've been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil motherfuckers can rot in hell."
You can read more here.
Dylan's new album, Tempest, is out now.