Dylan i 60-talet. Tematiken i Bob Dylans sångtexter och dikter 1961-67.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Bob Dylan (b. 1941) became known as an enfant terrible and a regenerator of rock lyrics already in the tumultuous 60´s. His constantly shifting roles as musician and songwriter, combined with his notable reserve, have led to the growth of a plethora of myths surrounding his person and work. His lyrics, accompanied by an increasingly original rock backing, based on folk music and rhythm & blues, built his reputation not only as a song writer and stage artist, but more importantly as a poet of a whole new breed. It is the lyrics and poems by Dylan, the rock poet, from the years 1961-67 that is the topic of this thesis. The emphasis lies on Dylan´s rapid development from celebrated protest singer and rock idol, to less accesible modernist song writer and poet during a few years in the mid 60´s. This thesis is structured chronologically and thematically in eight chapters that aim to elucidate significant thematic complexes in his songs and poems. An introductory exposé places Dylan´s early career in a socio cultural context. Chapter 2 sums up Dylan´s first years in New York and defines his relation to his role-model Woody Guthrie. Chapter 3 examines Dylan´s representation of American society as a symbolic father. As the influence from Guthrie on Dylan´s song writing diminishes, new and more literary advanced influences from the Beat Poets, such as Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, becomes discernible. These are explored in chapter 4. In the following three chapters, three artistic identities are projected - "The Prophet", "The Satirist" and "The Iconoclast" - that convey different dimensions of Dylan´s poetic strategy. The concluding chapter examines the album John Wesley Harding from 1967 and the transformation of Dylan´s song writing that it signifies. The album may be regarded as a comment to the increasing social unrest evident in America during the years 1966-68. The regeneration of Dylan´s writing here is fuelled by an attempt at assimilating the past and coming to terms with his own double cultural background - the Jewish and the Christian American.


  • Mats Jacobsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • litteraturteori, Allmän och jämförande litteratur, literary theory, literature criticism, The 60´s, song lyrics, contexts and interpretation, thematics, Guthrie tradition, society as father, generation conflict, The Beat Poets, Black Humor, litteraturkritik, New Left, Musicology, General and comparative literature, Musikvetenskap
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2004 Oct 23
  • Ellerströms förlag
Print ISBNs91-7247-100-X
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2004-10-23 Time: 10:15 Place: Edens hörsal, Paradisgatan 5, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Carlsson, Ulf Title: Fil dr Affiliation: Växjö universitet ---