The same distant places: Bob Dylan's poetics of place and displacement

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Elliott, Richard

This article explores the emphasis in Bob Dylan's work on memory, place, and displacement. It rehearses some key issues raised by recent theorists who have been interested in the connections between these themes before proceeding to discuss tropes of displacement in Dylan's work. Topics covered include the importance of the city and its projection of the rural, the theme of moving on and its association with accumulated experience, and the ability of Dylan continually to reinvent himself. The article closes with a reflection on the album Time Out of Mind as a distillation of themes of place and displacement that can be found throughout Dylan's work and argues that the work presents a poetics of displacement that cannot shed the pull of place and the desire for homely permanence.
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