'The Entire panorama of what America is to me': Dylan and the American idiom

Noel King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the ‘Americanness’ of Dylan’s ‘American idiom’ in the context of Dylan’s profoundly international cultural influence. Dylan is placed in a recognisable US tradition of the American artist who is interested in ‘selfinvention’ and ‘self architecturing’ almost as strongly as he is in distinctive reworkings of received cultural traditions. Dylan’s interest in the American vernacular, in moving across art forms (from poetry to cinema to music to writing), his ongoing acts of self-invention and pioneer-like reinvention (Emerson, Gatsby) are explored in relation to Scorsese’s documentary and the interpretations of that film (and Dylan’s stature) offered by Greil Marcus and Don DeLillo.The article connects Dylan to a range of US and international (French, Australian) literary texts (prose, poems) in order to explore the resonances of Dylan’s Americanist thematics beyond the US so that throughout the globe, Dylan’s invocations of modes of reinvention strike chords everywhere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-47
Number of pages13
JournalStudies in Documentary Film
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Dylan
  • Scorsese
  • Don DeLillo
  • Greil Marcus
  • The Great Gatsby
  • self-invention


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