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A.J. Weberman: Dylan To English Dictionary

John Simkin

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The advertisements for the Martin Scorsese Dylan film, No Direction Home, claimed the movie would supply the missing puzzle pieces in Bob Dylan's life. It did no such thing, although it documented what we already knew about Dylan's pre-1966 history to a greater extent than had ever been done before. The translations of Dylan's thoughts, couched in mind boggling cryptic poetry, revealed for the first time in The Bob Dylan to English Dictionary, actually supply "missing puzzle pieces" as this information comes "straight from the horse's mouth".

Bob Dylan has revealed the innermost secrets of his closely guarded private life in his poetry and it is up to the reader to expend the effort to read this entire book and then decide upon its validity, as we are dealing with an extremely complex phenomenon that requires sophisticated protocols to translate. Weberman has detected the formation of a new language created by Dylan’s extensive use of lesser-used word meanings - a language Weberman terms Dylanese. "Gate" can mean the amount of money taken in at a concert, "house" can mean an audience, "bundle" can mean several bags of heroin, a nag can be a horse or a persistent worry or concern, like the need to get more heroin as in “when that nag came around the track sure enough we had one.” (Up On Cripple Creek) You may say to yourself, “Big deal, anyone can figure this out with a good dictionary.” But almost 2,000 of these words used the same way 80% to 90% of the time to form coherent ideas? And then Dylan creates rhymes within this language? He adds other layers of meanings to the words. He does more than Weberman will ever understand. What’s with this guy? He is a true freak of nature. Everyone says Dylan is the Shakespeare of his generation - Shakespeare was the Dylan of his generation.

Once these protocols are understood, when listening to Dylan's poetry the reader's consciousness will be raised, to the point where the listener will be able to hear two levels of meaning at once from Dylan or from other rock poets writing in a similar or identical genre. Weberman hopes this mental exercise will strengthen the perceptive ability of the listener or reader and will spill over into other areas of life and raise conscious in general - an ambitious undertaking on Weberman's part fo' sure.

Weberman is not ordinary critic who acts as a cheerleader for Bob Dylan as Greil Mucus and others do. Future literary historians will eventually come to realize Bob Dylan is the poet laureate of his generation and that the relationship between A.J. Weberman and Dylan was similar to that of the relationship between Paul Verlaine and the opium addict Arthur Rimbaud. It is true that there is some dissimilarity as Verlaine shot Rimbaud over a beef about Rimbaud’s poetry and the only violence that went down between Weberman and Dylan involved Dylan brutally assaulting Weberman near the Bowery during which time he banged Weberman’s head against the pavement prompting two derelicts to ask Weberman if Dylan “got much money” as they believed Weberman was a drunk who was being rolled.

AJ has written the Bob Dylan To English Dictionary that translates about 800 words from the poetic language Dylan has developed into everyday English. When a translated word appears in the same sentence, verse or paragraph next to a string of already translated words all these translated words make sense within the logic inherent in language forming a coherent thought and parallel the contemporaneous events in Dylan's life at the time the poem was composed. AJ Weberman has unearthed a degree of consistency in Dylan's use of words that can only be intentional and has done what no one has done before - made public the metaphorical and allegorical meaning of Dylan's poetry with a high degree of accuracy in a comprehensive format. Soon you will be able to go to AMAZON'S LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK and read pages from the Dictionary, but in reality you got to look at the work in its totality to judge the degree of consistency that has been carefully contrived by Dylan, and that means shelling out some bread.

"The perfect book for Dylan fanatics." - Paul Krassner, author of One Hand Jerking: Reports From an Investigative Satirist. "A fascinating, meticulous and hilarious study of Dylan's lyrics, written by his arch-fan and stalker, the one and only Weberman" - Boaz Gaon, Maariv Israeli newspaper

A.J. Weberman is best known for his analysis of Dylan’s garbage and for having been beaten up by Bob Dylan on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan in the early 1970’s. Dylan viewed this incident as the “laughter down on Elizabeth Street / And a lonesome bell tone in that valley of stone / where [he] bathed in a stream of pure heat” (Where Are You Tonight, 1978). A.J. is featured on Joel Gilbert’s DVD Bob Dylan World Tours 1966 to 1974, and will appear on Gilbert’s next DVD. Chromedreams in the UK released Weberman’s legendary telephone conversations with Dylan. Rolling Stone Books will soon publish an interview Weberman did with Dylan. Weberman was a character in Don DeLillo's Underworld, "Detwiler had been a fringe figure in the sixties, a garbage guerilla who stole and analyzed the household trash of a number of famous people. He issued mock-comintern manifestos about the contents, with personal asides, and the underground press was quick to print this stuff. His activities had a crisp climax when he was arrested for snatching the garbage of J. Edgar Hoover from the rear of the Director's house in northwest Washington and this is what people remembered" and he his featured in Mark Jacobson's book, Teenage Hipster in the Modern World. AJ is mentioned in numerous articles and books about Bob Dylan and an independent film company in the UK is currently putting together The Ballad of AJ Weberman. AJ is the author of My Life In Garbology (Stonehill Press, 1980) and Coup D’Etat In America: The CIA and the Assassination of JFK (The Third Press, 1975, Quick Publishing Co 1992). The latter book is in its fourth edition and also available from amazon.com as is The Dylan To English Dictionary. Joan Baez related in NO DIRECTION HOME: “Dylan would always say, ‘What do you think of this?’ ‘I didn't understand the thing at all but I loved it so I said, ‘Okay, I'm gonna figure this one out.’ So I read it and gave back my interpretation of what it was about and he said, ‘That's pretty xxxxin' good.’ And he said ‘Years from now all these people, all these assholes, are going to be writing about all the xxxx I write...and what it means…’” A Dylan Data Base is available at http://dylanology.com/wrtwrddb.htm

The Yippie! Museum and The Yippie! Museum Press are dedicated to preserving the works and artifacts of the leaders and members of the Youth International Party, a loose-knit organization founded in 1968 by Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Paul Krassner, Stew Alpert and others. Dana Beal, an organizer for Cures-Not-Wars, serves as Curator and the Board Members include: William Prop of WBAI radio, John Sinclair, former Prisoner Of Weed (POW) and founder of the White Panther Party, Stewart Albert, founding member of the Yippies! and Vietnam Day Committee, Paul DeRienzo, radio journalist, Steve Conliff, historian of Native American History and several other surviving political activists.

For More Info contact the Yippie Museum Press at yippiemuseumpress@nyc.rr.com

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Guest Mark Valenti
If there is an interest in such a course please email me at ajw@nyc.rr.com

Also what is Gov. Corzine's favorite Dylan song?

Everything is Broken

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