When Bob Dylan Read From “The Waste Land”

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 5 2013 3:59 PM

When Dylan Read From “The Waste Land”

Josh Jones at Open Culture flags this fan-made video featuring a snippet of Bob Dylan’s dearly departed Theme Time Radio Hour (2006–09). Dylan introduces T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” by saying it “commemorated the death of Abraham Lincoln.” Jones sees this as Dylan noting Eliot’s debt to Walt Whitman, specifically “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” which does actually meditate on the death of Lincoln.

I’d say it’s intended as a joke built on that allusion, but maybe that amounts to the same thing. Dylan knew his Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, after all. As Jones notes, you can hear two old episodes of Theme Time Radio Hour each day on dylanradio.com.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

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