In a heated interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bob Dylan has hit out at those who have accused him of being a plagiarist, describing them as "wussies and pussies".
Dylan, responding to claims that he had "stolen" lyrics from Junichi Saga's 1991 book "Confessions Of A Yakuza" and the 19th century poetry of Henry Timrod, went on to suggest that people should be grateful for him using their works in his songs as it gives them greater exposure:
"...as far as Henry Timrod is concerned, have you even heard of him? Who's been reading him lately? And who's pushed him to the forefront? Who's been making you read him?"
The songwriter went on to describe his plagiarism critics as the same kind of people who had branded him a "Judas" for playing the electric guitar at Newport folk festival:
"These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you've been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified. All those evil motherf--kers can rot in hell."
Dylan's 35th studio album, "Tempest", was released earlier this month. It includes the singer's tribute to John Lennon, "Roll On John", as well as a 14 minute epic about the Titanic which is the album's title track.
This is not the first time that the singer has been embroiled in a plagiarism controversy. A series of paintings that he produced in 2011 were accused of being uncredited tracings of famous photographs.