Archive for the ‘Bob Dylan’ Category

Allen’s The Insanity Defense and Dylan’s Tarantula

February 19, 2010

Upon reading The Insanity Defense by Woody Allen, I could not help but to wonder if Bob Dylan’s Tarantula had any influence on it at all. Both books employ absurdity to “contextualize the fantastic within quotidian drudgery”. Tarantula’s absurdity at times is so thick that one cannot pierce the logic driving it nor determine a possible association. A quick example of a hefty many, “an old wrinkled prospector will appear & he will NOT say to you ‘don’t be possessive! don’t wish to be remembered!’ he will just be looking for his geiger counter & his name wont be Moses & dont count yourself lucky for not interfering – it is petty . . . do not count yourself lucky”. Whereas Dylan’s material seems like a formless, free-flowing, completely unpredictable torrent of absurdity, Allen’s material seems like a parking structure for textbooks driving clown cars. Allen capitalizes on things you would never think twice about (Laundry lists in The Metterling Lists), and offers extremely different (to the point of hilarious) perspectives (A Look At Organized Crime). In Organized Crime, Allen offers the perspective from a corporate video, the kind of video a company would show to its new employees. Example of Corporate Video (Parody)

In Allen’s Annie Hall, there is a digression to Alvy Singer’s (played by W. Allen) relationship with a journalist who talks much of a recent Bob Dylan concert. He ends up sleeping with the girl. From the text, one can only assume Allen holds Dylan in respect.