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William C. Altreuter
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

When TCA was in town she heard a bit of Bob Dylan's radio program as we were driving around. "Where's he from?" she asked, and when I told her Hibbing, Minnesota, she said, "Then why does he talk like that?" It wasn't really a question: TCA was saying that Dylan's distinctive twang is an affectation-- as phony as the stories he tells about running off with the rodeo when he was 12. Of course, Dylan as unreliable narrator is part of the point of Dylan, and even if he didn't sound like that when he went to high school, he's talked with that nasally drawl for so long at this point that its authenticity is no longer an issue. Come to find out, though, that Dylan's accent may be more authentic than anyone supposed.

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