Anne Margaret Daniel

Copyright chaos grows deeper by the minute

The law doth punish man or woman That steals the goose from off the common But lets the greater felon loose Who steals the common from the goose The authors of a fascinating new look at the patchwork chaos called copyright begin their book with this epigraph from an ancient English protest song against fencing,

The music that inspired Bob Dylan

In Folk Music, Greil Marcus has captured an entire world of the creative and cultural development of the artist known as Bob Dylan in a single book. He not only tells a Dylan biography in seven songs but creates an autobiography of his own long career as a writer on music and America, as well

No stone left unturned: The World of Bob Dylan reviewed

In May 2019, the first World of Bob Dylan conference was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Why Tulsa? Because Dylan’s archives are there, acquired in 2015 by the George Kaiser Foundation and the University of Tulsa for a reported $15-$20 million. Tulsa was already home to fine museums and important historical and archival collections. In a

The odd couple: John Keats and F. Scott Fitzgerald

On a shard of paper, some time in the bleak mid-1930s, F. Scott Fitzgerald incorporated a favourite line from one of his favourite poets, John Keats, in a short verse of his own: Don’t you worry I surrenderDays are long and life’s a benderStill I know thatTender is the Night Keats was a Romantic, perhaps

Changed utterly | 30 May 2019

All cities are shapeshifters, but London is special. London is a palimpsest of places gone but not lost. Even as it is taken apart and rebuilt reaching to the skies, London remains rooted in the lay of the land, shore ditches, hills and fields still giving their names to the neighbourhoods upon them, and all

Running on empty, and on and on

Hunter Stockton Thompson blazed across the republic of American arts and letters for too short a time. When in February 2005 Thompson, 67, killed himself with a .45 at home in Woody Creek, Colorado, freethinkers and lovers of his savage, beautiful words grieved the world over — and we still do. Thompson was a Southern

Jay for Japan

Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore was published in Japan in February last year. Early press releases for this English version hailed the book as ‘a tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art — as well as a loving homage to The Great Gatsby’. Anyone familiar with Murakami’s 17 preceding novels can vouch for

No end in sight | 20 September 2018

Novels today do not want to be done. Thank Anthony Burgess and John Fowles for this, most immediately, but alternate endings, or the purposeful failure to finish, run long and deep in fiction in English, all the way back to Laurence Sterne and ‘I caught hold of the fille de chambre’s —.’ Modern novels shear

A complicated man

‘There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.’ Lord Henry Wotton said that. It is always better to read Bob Dylan than to read about him. I said that. Two new books by Dylan, and two about him, prove my point. Just out

Borne back ceaselessly into the past

‘I do not like the idea of the biographical book,’ F. Scott Fitzgerald told his editor Max Perkins in 1936. Fitzgerald may not have liked it, but he certainly let himself in for it. As he wrote, with a grin, in 1937: ‘Most of what has happened to me is in my novels and short