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A new book on songwriting is coming from Bob Dylan.

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March 9, 2022, 12:15pm

The times they are a-changin’: Bob Dylan’s first book in eighteen years is coming out this November via Simon & Schuster. It will be Dylan’s first published book since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.

According to Simon & Schuster, The Philosophy of Modern Song is a “masterclass on the art and craft of songwriting,” featuring over sixty essays on songs by other great artists. He “analyzes what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song, and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal . . . And while [these essays] are ostensibly about music, they are really meditations and reflections on the human condition.” The book also includes 150 photos and, apparently, “a series of dreamlike riffs that, taken together, resemble an epic poem.” If this sounds like an extensive vision, that’s because it is—Dylan’s been working on the book since 2010.

“The publication of Bob Dylan’s kaleidoscopically brilliant work will be an international celebration of songs by one of the greatest artists of our time,” Jonathan Karp, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, said in a statement. “The Philosophy of Modern Song could only have been written by Bob Dylan. His voice is unique, and his work conveys his deep appreciation and understanding of songs, the people who bring those songs to life, and what songs mean to all of us.”

[Variety, Pitchfork]

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