Words and Music:
Celebrating the Songs of Dylan and Cohen
From Sappho to Robert Burns, from Shakespeare to William Blake, the marriage of words to music in song has been both foundational for the literary as a category and a problem for literature’s gatekeepers. Dylan and Cohen came to their words and music by different routes—Cohen, a prize-winning poet years before he turned to music; Dylan, a performer of traditional music taken up by the Beat poets. Dylan wrote some of his best-known lyrics in minutes; Cohen could write and revise his for long years. Dylan’s intertextual play ranges from Poe to Raymond Chandler by way of Border ballads and Ovid; Cohen’s embraces Dante and the Bible. Both are story-tellers: both are icons as well as bodies of texts and recordings.
To celebrate the achievements of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and mark both Dylan’s Nobel Prize and Cohen’s passing, the Department of Modern Languages and English Studies at the Universitat de Barcelona will hold a one-day symposium on 29 September 2017. Informal papers of interest to both scholars and the general public are invited—in English, Catalan, or Spanish—on Dylan’s and Cohen’s sources; their intertextuality; their verse forms; their use of humour; aging; masculinity; religion; demotic musical and literary forms; translations of their works; and the transnational and transcultural Dylan and Cohen.
Proposals of no more than 300 words should be sent by 30 July 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Notifications of acceptance will be issued by 15 August.