Tuesday, July 08, 2008
It's just a book marathon around here tonight, so I'll make this one brief. As everyone knows, I'm a sucker for rock chick memoirs, and Suze Rotolo would just HATE that description of her book, A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties. Rotolo was Bob Dylan's girlfriend from around when he came to New York till he got big (and dumped her for Joan Baez). She's the one walking down the street with him on the cover of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Anyway, we all also know that I'm a sucker for memoir as cultural history, as well as the 60s, and that's really what this book is all about. It's not the best-written book ever, but it's a great window onto a moment of possibility and cultural ferment. Rotolo, a red-diaper baby from Queens, was right there as the 50s became the 60s became the SIXTIES, and she's both immediate in her recollections and intelligent in her reflections, especially about the pre-consumerist moment and her refusal to become a rock chick. One of the most fascinating things here is her articulation of a nascent feminist sensibility, before there was a language for it, and you know I'm all about the feminism. Jackie, read this one! And the rest of you too, if any of these motifs ring your bells (can motifs ring bells? must go to bed now).