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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #100)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:00 AM

104. To me its a reference to homeless mentally ill.

The song is about homelessness and despondency, so me "napoleon in rags" represents the delusions of grandeur associated with madness combined with the downcast nature. Its that bum on the street in rags, who is nevertheless proceeding to have a conversation with "God" (or whoever the voices are) and is on his great mission. In the context of the song its about losing it, slipping into craziness. ("You're invisible now", who cares what you do? Lose it.)

I chose it as a moniker because with a previous screen name I felt that folks were taking me too seriously when I conjectured. The name is intended as a warning. By conflating myself with the image of a crazy bum on the street, I'm trying to make clear that I'm not speaking as any kind of insider, but as an outsider with flashes of insight and lunacy at the same time.

That's what I always though it meant anyway. I haven't read much about it. I heard some people interpreted it as Christ, (as in the song character is becoming born again) but to me that doesn't fit with the grim character of the song, and Dylan is too elegant a poet to tie Christ to Waterloo without further comment.

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LineLineLineNew Reply To me its a reference to homeless mentally ill.
napoleon_in_rags Mar 2013 #104
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #106
napoleon_in_rags Mar 2013 #108
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #109
napoleon_in_rags Mar 2013 #110
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #111
Exultant Democracy Mar 2013 #86
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #101
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