ボブ・ディランのノーベル文学賞講演についてニューヨーカのアレグザンドラ・シュウォーツがこう書く。

alexandra1

[Alexandra Schwartz]

Then came Dylan’s discovery of Leadbelly, another poet in the guise of a songster, and from Leadbelly it was a hop, skip, and jump to “the ragtime blues, work songs, Georgia sea shanties, Appalachian ballads and cowboy songs,” to American music in all its incomparable abundance:

You know what it’s all about. Takin’ the pistol out and puttin’ it back in your pocket. Whippin’ your way through traffic, talkin’ in the dark. You know that Stagger Lee was a bad man and that Frankie was a good girl. You know that Washington is a bourgeois town and you’ve heard the deep-pitched voice of John the Revelator and you saw the Titanic sink in a boggy creek. And you’re pals with the wild Irish rover and the wild colonial boy. You heard the muffled drums and the fifes that played lowly. You’ve seen the lusty Lord Donald stick a knife in his wife, and a lot of your comrades have been wrapped in white linen.


“I had all the vernacular all down,” Dylan says. “I could make it all connect and move with the current of the day.” He still can. I doubt that Dylan will be writing a song about the lusty Lord Donald and his knife-stuck wife anytime soon, but what a song it would be. What he is saying is that he learned his consummate literary technique—how to wield metaphor and make simile sing, how to sew his songs with rhyme and spin a whole uncanny scene from a perfectly worded image—from the great vernacular tradition of American songwriting, a vast library stored not on shelves but in minds and chord-picking fingers.

私もここが一番いいところだと思う。ディランがアメリカ音楽のことばをいかに内面化しているかを如実に示す箇所だ。シュウォーツがいうように、いつかこういう歌をディランが書いてくれたらと思う。

ここでディランは

You know that Stagger Lee was a bad man and that Frankie was a good girl.

と言っている。前者は 'Stackalee' への、後者は 'Frankie' への言及だ。このあたりの歌は Anthology of American Folk Music の愛聴者ならおなじみだろう。

歌詞は文学なのかという議論に終止符をうつアレグザンドラの見解がいい。

We need to read him with our ears as well as our eyes.

まさにその通りだ。たとえ黙読したとしても耳の中で音が響いているような読み方をすればよいのだ。本当はディランだけでなく、すべての詩がそうなのだろう。



[Bob Dylan 2016 Nobel Lecture in Literature (texted version)]


ディランの手頃な詩集が2017年10月31日に出る(↓)

100 Songs
Bob Dylan
Simon & Schuster
2017-10-31



ディランと米ルーツ音楽の関係に関心があればこの6枚組は外せない ↓

Anthology Of American Folk Music (Edited By Harry Smith)
Various Artists
Smithsonian Folkways
1997-08-19