Dylan's Visions of Sin

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Canongate Books, May 5, 2011 - Music - 528 pages
2 Reviews
‘I consider myself a poet first and a musician second’ ‘It ain’t the melodies that’re important man, it’s the words’ Two quotes from Dylan himself that underline the importance of this book. Dylanology thrives. There is no shortage of books about him and many of them will be dusted off for his 70th birthday. This one, however, stands on its own both for its unusual approach and for the virtuosity of its execution. Ricks’s scheme, aptly, is to examine Dylan’s songs through the biblical concepts of the seven deadly Sins, the four Virtues, and the three Heavenly Graces. He carries it off with panache. Ricks may be the most eminent literary critic of his generation but nobody should feel his book is one of earnest, unapproachable exegesis, on the contrary it has a flamboyance, almost effervescence about it that is captivating. Ricks boldly and successfully judges Dylan as a poet not a lyricist and in his tour-de-force makes endless illuminating comparisons with canonical writers such as Eliot, Hardy, Hopkins and Larkin.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - zappa - LibraryThing

At times playful - at times too playful, so not a five - but with encyclopedic knowledge of Dylan's lyrics, printed and performance, Ricks takes his readers on a tour of Dylan's portrayals of sin ... Read full review

Dylan's visions of sin

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Literally hundreds of books have been written about Bob Dylan and his music, but very few have considered his lyrics as works of literature. One notable exception is John Hinchey's fine Like a ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Sir Christopher Bruce Ricks, FBA (born 1933) is a British literary critic and scholar. He is the William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities at Boston University (U.S.) and Co-Director of the Editorial Institute at Boston University, and was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford from 2004 to 2009. W. H. Auden described Ricks as 'exactly the kind of critic every poet dreams of finding'.

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