Dreams and Dialogues in Dylan's "Time Out of Mind"
Time Out of Mind is one of the most ambitious, complex, and provocative albums of Bob Dylan's distinguished artistic career. The present book interprets the songs recorded for Time Out of Mind as a series of dreams by a single singer/dreamer. These dreams overlap and intermingle, but three primary levels of meaning emerge. On one level, the singer/dreamer envisions himself as a killer awaiting execution for killing his lover. On another level, the song-cycle functions as religious allegory, dramatizing the protagonist's relentless struggles with his lover as a battle between spirit and flesh, earth and heaven, salvation and damnation. On still another level, Time Out of Mind is a meditation on American slavery and racism, Dylan's most personal encounter with the subject, but one tangled up in associations with the minstrelsy tradition and debates surrounding cultural appropriation. Time Out of Mind marks the culmination of several recurring themes that have preoccupied Dylan for decades, and it serves as a pivotal turning point toward his late renaissance in terms of both subject matter and intertextual approach.
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