Friday, May 08, 2009
Le Temps Des Possibles
In 1961, a 17 year old girl from Queens met a young Bob Dylan at an all day folk festival at Riverside Church. Bob Dylan was instantly captivated with the shy, talented Italian American. For the next three years, they became a couple. Suze Rotolo was transformed into a mysterious iconic beauty who was the muse for the poet.
She was photographed with Dylan for the cover of The Freewheeling Bob Dylan and the photo became a vision that encapsulated an era.
Suze had never written or spoken with the hoards of Dylanologists over the years and remained a mystery. A mystery that was never far as she traveled back to the United States married to an Italian and raised a son in the Village.
Suze kept her own life as an artist, creating her very unique art books, which she creates and exhibits to this very day.
She became a "public" figure so to speak at the urging of Martin Scorscese, when he made the Dylan bio, No Direction Home. She is a compelling story teller in the film
giving insight and background to the unique world and place out of time of Greenwich Village of the early 60's.
She never really left the Village and kept many of the same friends from that period over the years. She met Tod Haines who encouraged her while he was making the Dylan based film, He's Not There.
Suze released her book, A Freewheelin' Time last year in hard cover. Now it is finally available as a paperback this week.
The book is her personal story about the life of a young girl growing up in a very political left wing Italian family in Queens. She leads into the years with Bob Dylan and reveals no more than you need to know. She is able to give insights into the person Bob Dylan was and perhaps a little understanding of the person he became.
Most valuably, the book is a real document of the world of Greenwich Village, the personalities and the history of the early 60's and the Folk Movement that lasted for too short of a time before it evolved into the folk rock scene and became commercialized.
Suze writes with a very personal style. She really lets us feel her early life and a bit about what came after.
The book was released in Great Britain and just this month in France by Naive Books. Translated into French, the title is Le Temps des Possibles, or The Time of Possibilities.
I will make no bones that this is perhaps a biased review, not because of my review of the book. If anything, I have been restrained in my praise, but biased because I truly love Suze and I want everyone to read her book!