On Writers, Part IV by Bob Dylan

Excerpts from The Rome Interview

Q:  Do you look out for new writers?

BD:  “Yeah, but I don’t believe there are any, because we live in another age. The media is very invasive. What could you possibly write that you haven’t seen every day in the newspapers or on television.”

Q:  But there are emotions that have to be expressed?

BD:  “Yeah, but the media control people’s emotions, anyway. When there were people around like William Blake, Shelley & Byron there probably wasn’t any form of media. Just gazettes. You could feel free to put down whatever you had in your mind.”

Q:  Do you think the TV and the media have killed poetry?

BD:  “Oh, absolutely. Because literature is written for a public. There’s nobody like Kafka who just sits down and writes something without wanting somebody to read it.”

Q:  Every writer?

BD:  “Yeah, sure, but the media does this for everybody. You can’t see things that are more horrible than what the media give you. The news shows people things that they couldn’t even dream about and even ideas that people thought they could repress, but they see them and they can’t even repress them anymore. So what can a writer do when every idea is already exposed in the media before he can even grasp it and develop it.”

Q:  How do you react to all this?

BD:  “We live in a world of fantasy where Disney has won, the fantasy of Disney. It’s all fantasy. That’s why I think that if a writer has something to say he should say it at all costs. The world is real. Fantasy has become the real world. Whether we realize it or not.”

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