FOR CURRENT ACTIVITY SEE THE WEBSITE WWW.MICHAELGRAY.NET

MICHAELGRAY.NET

AND THE BLOG OUTTAKES

My Photo
Name:

the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

Follow 1michaelgray1 on Twitter
 
Web bobdylanencyclopedia.blogspot.com

Monday, July 16, 2007

MELVYN BRAGG's LITERARY TASTE


For years Melvyn Bragg, famously the British cultural commentator with the biggest hair, has avoided devoting one of his South Bank Show arts TV programmes to Bob Dylan's work.

This may be because he feels this would make a worthwhile show only if Dylan agreed to a one-to-one chat (though this would also rule out focussing on anyone dead, for example - so disqualifying quite a few great artists), but he's also managed to give the impression that he views Dylan with suspicion, if not hostility.

Which would be just about tenable if The South Bank Show never dropped its sights below lofty levels of conventional high-culture achievement. But that's never been its stance, and last night the subject was the so-called Bard of Barnsley, Ian McMillan: one of the shallowest poets and most obnoxious Professional Yorkshiremen you could hope to avoid encountering. A man who mistakes clumping delivery for plainspeaking, and cannot offer a sentence without larding it in self-regard.

However joshing and Northern-laddish their telly twosome might have been (and the combined murk of their vowel sounds must have been terrifying), taking Ian McMillan seriously enough to profile him while remaining suspicious of Bob Dylan is like gobbling slugs while scoffing at bouillabaisse.

2 Comments:

Blogger Theokie said...

Hello Michael. In 2002, I met you at a lecture you were giving in Southport Lancs, and I gave you a copy of my story 'Knocking on Dylan's Door.' One of the main characters in the story was one...Melvyn Bragg!

2:45 pm  
Blogger wleming said...

bragg has been pontificating endlessly for decades now: hes the king of middle brow commentary, and his not so heady mix of academese, pop sociology, tele-demics and media mavans induce sleep in even the most avid anti pop philistein. dylan went electric.. melvyn stayed with the edison cylinder.

10:07 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home