A critically-acclaimed examination of Bob Dylan’s lyrics as poetry, through the prism of the 7 Deadly Sins
‘I consider myself a poet first and a musician second’
‘It ain’t the melodies that’re important man, it’s the words’
There is no shortage of books about Bob Dylan. This one, however, is unique in its approach and the virtuosity of its execution.
Ricks examines Dylan’s songs through the biblical concepts of the seven deadly Sins, the four cardinal Virtues and the three Heavenly Graces. He does so with what one critic has described as ‘an ultimately irresistible combination of laser-like intelligence with a fan’s exuberant idolatry’.
“Ricks’s writing on Dylan is the best there is”
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“The rewards are just as one would expect: a bracing attention to artfulness, a wonderful sensitivity to nuance, and a particularly brilliant sympathy with the purpose and effect of Dylan’s rhymes”
“Everything Ricks has to say about Dylan is original. He is a critic who seems to be talking to you from within the work. He can turn the smallest niche in a poem into a vast cathedral of resonance and implication.”
“A great case has been made by a great critic (Christopher Ricks) that a great lyricist - Bob Dylan - is, in fact, a poet”
new York Review Of Books
“Bob Dylan is fast becoming rock’s equivalent of James Joyce”
Christopher Ricks is Warren Professor of the Humanities, and Co-Director of the Editorial Institute, at Boston University, having formerly been professor of English at the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge. He is a member of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, of which he was president from 2007 to 2008. He was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 2004 to 2009.