Exposing the depth of two major artists' philosophies, creative
visions, stylistic tendencies, and contributions to their craft,
this unprecedented comparative analysis synthesizes biographical
material, critical interpretation, and selected exemplars of the
writers' work. Smith reinterprets their work in a new and
fascinating light, presenting Dylan as a songwriter of enigmatic
wordplay and Springsteen as the melodramatic narrator of a specific
community's life struggles.
Both songwriters have had unique responses to the celebrity
singer/songwriter tradition begun by Woody Guthrie. Smith reveals
the power of authorship and the creative drive necessary to
negotiate an artistic vision through the complicated mechanisms of
the world of commercial art. Both have discovered their own means
of traveling this difficult terrain, and Smith probes their lives
and work to reveal the myriad ways in which two distinct, equally
significant artists have learned from and contributed to an ongoing
and important American musical tradition.
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