08Nov Death to self, as explored in Bob Dylan’s latest album

 Fr John Gribowich writes in the National Catholic Reporter, Nov 7, 2020:

Bob Dylan explores death to self

in ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’

…Once again, the singer-songwriter does not disappoint, and even as he approaches his 80th birthday, he is still able to reinvent himself and surprise even his most loyal fans. The dark sound and lyrics of the album initially suggest Dylan’s personal wrestle with mortality, yet I find that this record is not a “swan song” or the musings of an old man who is waiting to die. “Rough and Rowdy Ways” highlights an ongoing death to self, which every person must choose to embrace.



One Response

  1. Eugene+Sheehan

    Like Fr.Gribowich, I have long been entertained and enthralled by the Bard of Hibbing. He has been exploring the core of human existence – relationship – since the early sixties, in music, poetry and prose. It pleases me that Fr. Gribowich has sought to interpret Dylan’s latest work as a cogent analysis of humanity’s relationship with life and death, history, politics, philosophy etc. It appears to me that a great chasm has opened between popular culture and our institutional Church, where the latter would appear to regard the former with mistrust and offering little by way of commentary on the human condition. Roman Catholicism as Church has lost touch with modern culture, except for individual Catholics who are prepared to ask “why?” and “why not?”
    Brendan Hoban, in another post, beautifully meditates on the relationship between life and death and the role of memory and imagination in coming to terms with our mortality. I remember a priest, at the funeral mass of his mother, acknowledging the great sacrifices his mother had made when the family were growing up. He pointed to all the occasions she had to let them go in their journey through life, and now it was their turn to let her go. Dylan reflects on that theme of “letting go”, be it the ego, certainties, reputations, and life itself. Brilliant for “a song and dance man”.
    And he ain’t no false prophet!

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