The Atlantic

Bob Dylan Cheats Again?

His Nobel lecture may have lifted from SparkNotes—possibly the latest of his artistic thefts, and one of the most fascinating.
Source: Pierre Godot / AP

“Bob is not authentic at all,” Joni Mitchell told The Los Angeles Times in 2010, referring, of course, to Bob Dylan. “He’s a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception.”

Mitchell was giving a particularly acidic summary of what’s become conventional wisdom about the great boomer bard. A gentler term often used about Dylan’s relationship to originality is “magpie.” Here’s The New York Times’ Jon Pareles writing about plagiarism accusations against Dylan’s Love and Theft in 2003: “His lyrics are like magpies’ nests, full of shiny fragments from

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