Envy those University of Minnesota students who have the opportunity to take a class titled "The Old Weird America" from the man who coined a term that has come to define everything from aesthetic categories in music and art to that feeling you get when driving past burnt-out barns along the highway.
That's right, next fall, Greil Marcus will be teaching "Topics in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature: The Old, Weird America":
"This course examines commonplace, authorless songs as elemental, founding documents of American identity. These songs can be heard as a form of speech that, with a deep foundation, is always in a flux; especially in the work of Bob Dylan across the last fifty years. Reading includes novels (Colson Whitehead's John Henry Days; and Lee Smith's The Devil's Dream, criticism (Constance Rourke's classic American Humor ), Bob Dylan's autobiography Chronicles, as well as music and film excerpts."