Archives for posts with tag: 1961


CHRONICLES, Volume One (Excerpt)

Memoir by Bob Dylan

“[In 1961] I didn’t follow baseball that much but I did know that Roger Maris who was with the Yankees was in the process of breaking Babe Ruth’s home-run record…Maris was from Hibbing, Minnesota…On some level I guess I took pride in being from the same town. There were other Minnesotans, too, that I felt akin to. Charles Lindberg, the first aviator to fly nonstop across the Atlantic in the ‘20s. He was from Little Falls. F. Scott Fitzgerald, a descendant of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and who himself wrote The Great Gatsby, was from St. Paul…Sinclair Lewis had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first American to do so. Lewis had written Elmer Gantry and was the master of absolute realism, had invented it. He was from Sauk Center, Minnesota. And then there was Eddie Cochran, one of the early rock-and-roll geniuses who was from Albert Lee, Minnesota. Native sons—adventurers, prophets, writers, and musicians. They were all from the North Country. Each one followed their own vision, didn’t care what the pictures showed. Each one of them would have understood what my inarticulate dreams were about. I felt like I was one of them or all of them put together.”

Note: This quote from the final pages of Chronicles, Volume One, by Bob Dylan called to mind other favorite artists from Minnesota, though Dylan wouldn’t have been aware of them in 1961. A nod to filmmakers Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (Fargo) and Terry Gilliam (Brazil), author Robert Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance), cartoonist Charles M. Schultz (Peanuts), and musician Prince.

Published in 2004, Chronicles, Volume One, by Bob Dylan has met with critical and reader acclaim — and was one of five finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Dylan is currently working on Chronicles, Volume Two.


We are pleased to announce that Colleen was first to offer a comment about our REVOLUTIONARY ROAD post — and wins her very own copy of this amazing novel by Richard Yates. Visit Colleen — a recent UNC grad with a degree in English and advertising — at her blog Colleen Abroad, Passport to Somewhere: Because it’s never too early to start exploring the world…

Congratulations, Colleen! Thank you for visiting the Silver Birch Press blog!

Visitors, stay tuned for our next book giveaway — coming soon. 


Earlier today, we posted “Double Standard,” a 1961 Dennis Hopper photo of the intersection of Santa Monica, Doheny, and Melrose in Beverly Hills, California. The above screen grab from Google maps shows how the spot looks in 2012. For comparison, Dennis Hopper’s photo is repeated below.



I just finished rereading The Great Gatsby (read it free here) and decided that all the novels I dive into until September will be revisits to favorite books. Next on the list: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (originally published in 1961).

I picked this novel because it seemed a logical sequel to Gatsby — a sort of “What would have happened if Gatsby had married Daisy?”

This will be my third reading of Revolutionary Road — a novel I consider a prose miracle. And  I’m in good company.

The Great Gatsby of my time…One of the best books by a member of my generation.” Kurt Vonnegut

“Here is more than fine writing; here is what added to fine writing makes a book come immediately, intensely, and brilliantly alive. If more is needed to make a masterpiece in modern American fiction, I am sure I don’t know what it is.” Tennessee Williams

If you want to read along with me, you can find Revolutionary Road here. (Yes, this is the book the Leonardo Di Caprio/Kate Winslet movie was based on — but, as usual, the book is better than the screen version.)

(Silver Birch Photo: Window of dry cleaners, Harlem Avenue, Chicago)