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Idiot Wind

What did Bob Dylan ever do to deserve Christopher Ricks? No artist should be subjected to this much wanton affection: it’s unseemly, like being hugged by a stranger who won’t let go. In Dylan’s Visions of Sin, Ricks gloms on to the guitar poet as if trying to dissolve the boundary where Dylan ends and he begins. It’s a full-body mind-meld that results in a windy duet. The professor of poetry at Oxford University and the author of highly regarded studies of Milton, Keats, Tennyson, and Beckett, Ricks performs an Empsonian close reading of Dylan’s song lyrics and gnomic utterances, mining deep correspondences and strange affinities between the bard of Hibbing, Minnesota and the heavy movers of English literature.
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