Semplicemente Bob

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Così, mi sono seduto al computer ad ascoltare il discorso di Bob Dylan, quello registrato e inviato a Stoccolma.

All’inizio Dylan racconta dell’incontro con Buddy Holly, a diciotto anni, un viaggio per vederlo cantare su un palco. “I had to travel a hundred miles to get to see him play, and I wasn’t disappointed […] He was powerful and electrifying and had a commanding presence. I was only six feet away. He was mesmerizing.

Buddy è a soli pochi passi da lui: “I watched his face, his hands, the way he tapped his foot, his big black glasses, the eyes behind the glasses, the way he held his guitar, the way he stood, his neat suit. Everything about him. He looked older than twenty-two”.

Infine, il contatto visivo: “He looked me right straight dead in the eye, and he transmitted something. Something I didn’t know what. And it gave me the chills”.

Quell’incontro gli cambia la vita. Dylan inizia a suonare canzoni e ballate folk, “I was playing for small crowds, sometimes no more than four or five people in a room or on a street corner [..]  When I started writing my own songs, the folk lingo was the only vocabulary that I knew, and I used it”.


Tre libri, tre libri decisivi per la sua formazione. Il primo è Moby Dick, che racconta e cui rende omaggio alla fine dicendo: “That theme and all that it implies would work its way into more than a few of my songs”.

Nulla di nuovo sul fronte occidentale. Qui Dylan raggiunge i vertici della sua poesia raccontando gli abissi dell’umanità. “All Quiet on the Western Front is a horror story. This is a book where you lose your childhood, your faith in a meaningful world, and your concern for individuals. You’re stuck in a nightmare. Sucked up into a mysterious whirlpool of death and pain. You’re defending yourself from elimination. You’re being wiped off the face of the map. Once upon a time you were an innocent youth with big dreams about being a concert pianist. Once you loved life and the world, and now you’re shooting it to pieces”.

Il grande inganno della guerra e dei suoi paladini, la perdita di ogni residua innocenza, l’essere umano degradato ad animale, l’indifferenza della natura intorno. Ho sempre detestato la retorica della bella guerra, della guerra eroica combattuta da uomini eroici, a guerra è orrore, sangue e puzza di cadaveri e merda. Nulla più.


Parlando dell’Odissea Dylan osserva come il poema parli di noi, di ciò che ci è accaduto o che ci potrebbe accadere: “In a lot of ways, some of these same things have happened to you. You too have had drugs dropped into your wine. You too have shared a bed with the wrong woman. You too have been spellbound by magical voices, sweet voices with strange melodies. You too have come so far and have been so far blown back. And you’ve had close calls as well. You have angered people you should not have. And you too have rambled this country all around. And you’ve also felt that ill wind, the one that blows you no good. And that’s still not all of it”.

Infine, la sua dichiarazione d’amore e di vita da cantautore: “That’s what songs are too. Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page. And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer, who says, “Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story.”

Sorprendente, intenso, magnifico.