25 Nov 2017

Richard F Thomas - Why Dylan Matters

From Saturday Morning, 8:12 am on 25 November 2017

Richard F. Thomas is Harvard University's George Martin Lane Professor of the Classics. He was born in London and brought up in New Zealand, and educated at the University of Auckland and at the University of Michigan. He is a world expert in classical poetry, with the works of Virgil a particular area of expertise. Four times during a long career at Harvard, Professor Thomas has taught a class called 'Bob Dylan', which studies Dylan's memoir and extensive music output in the context of classical poets such as Virgil and Homer. Thomas was initially ridiculed by his colleagues for teaching a course on Bob Dylan, but Dylan's Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016 brought him vindication, and he immediately found himself thrust into the spotlight as a leading academic voice in all matters Dylanological. He talks to Kim about his new book, Why Dylan Matters, which asks readers to reflect on the question, "What makes a classic?"