Over his long career much has been written about Bob Dylan's music. Does he care what people write about him? Tarantula book cover image It turns out that Dylan wrote about critics in 1965-1966 in his book, Tarantula, which wasn't actually legally published until 1971. The following section on pages 93-94 is very direct about his view of his critics. It was the second and third pages of the chapter titled Ape on Sunday, with no separate title of it's own.

  • look you asshole

    • "…look you asshole – tho i might be nothing but a butter sculptor, i refuse to go on working with the idea of your praising as my reward – like what are your credentials anyway? excpt for talking about all us butter sculptors, what else do you do? do you know what it feels like to make some butter sculpture? do you know what it feels like to actually ooze that butter around & create something of fantastic worth? you said that my last year’s work “The King's Odor” was great & then you say i havent done anything as great since – just who the hell are you talking to anyway? you must have something to do in your real life – i understand that you praised the piece you saw yesterday entitled “The Monkey Taster” about which you said meant “a nice work of butter carved into the shape of a young man who likes only african women” you are an idiot – it doesnt mean that at all . . . i hereby want nothing to do with your hangups - i really dont care what you think of my work as i now know you dont understand it anyway . . . i must go now - i have this new hunk of margarine waiting in the bathtub – yes i said MARGARINE & next week i just might decide to use cream cheese - & i really dont care what you think of my experimenting – you take yourself too seriously – youre going to get an ulcer and go into the hospital - they’ll put you in a ward where you cant have any visitors - you’ll go right off your nut - i really dont care anymore - i am so bored with your rules and regulations that i might not even talk to you again - just remember tho, when you evaluate a piece of butter, you are talking about yourself, so you’d just better sign your name . . . see you, if youre lucky, at mrs. keeler's cake festival.

    • yours

    • Snowplow Floater

    • p.s. youre my friend & i’m trying to help you"

He certainly didn't mince his words, did he! There is no effort to dissemble about what he's really thinking. I suspect many great artists (most?) would agree with the idea of approaching their work based upon his statement that "i really dont care what you think of my work as i now know you dont understand it anyway." Dylan has certainly maintained his artistic integrity over the entire course of his career, always following his own path, the critics be damned.

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05/16/14; 07:53:05 PM

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By Ron Chester, Friday, May 16, 2014 at 7:53 PM.