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Dylan's Visions of Sin [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Christopher Ricks


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Gebundene Ausgabe, 25. September 2003 --  
Taschenbuch EUR 11,60  

Kurzbeschreibung

25. September 2003
Bob Dylan's ways with words are a wonder, matched as they are with his music and verified by those voices of his. In response to the whole range of Dylan early and late (his songs of social conscience, of earthly love, of divine love and of contemplation), this critical appreciation listens to Dylan's attentive genius, to his apprehension of deadly sins and his comprehension of living virtues, all alive in the very words and their rewards.

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'Ricks's writing on Dylan is the best there is' Alex Ross, New Yorker 'A great case has been made by a great critic (Christopher Ricks) that a great lyricist - Bob Dylan - is, in fact, a poet.' Dan Chiasson, New York Review of Books '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.' Andrew Motion, Guardian -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

Synopsis

Bob Dylan's ways with words are a wonder, matched as they are with his music and verified by those voices of his. In response to the whole range of Dylan early and late (his songs of social conscience, of earthly love, of divine love and of contemplation), this critical appreciation listens to Dylan's attentive genius, to his apprehension of deadly sins and his comprehension of living virtues, all alive in the very words and their rewards.

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It would have been only too human for Bob Dylan at nineteen to envy Woody Guthrie. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Amazon.com: 4.1 von 5 Sternen  16 Rezensionen
35 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A fascinating labor of love 23. Juni 2004
Von Steve - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Bob Dylan changed music (and the art of songwriting) forever in the 1960s. His continuing popularity is a testament both to the timelessness of his art, as well as to his uncanny ability to remake himself and his music, year after year. Dubbed the "poet laureate of rock-n-roll," Dylan's work has received more serious academic attention than any other folk/folk-rock musician out there, and for very good reason. Now comes Christopher Ricks, a well-known poetry scholar, to compare Dylan to some of the greatest poets ever: Wordsworth, Donne, Tennyson. The result is fascinating. I find it hard to believe that anyone could read this book and walk away from it without a renewed admiration for Bob Dylan and his music.
The book's structure has Ricks analyzing Dylan's songs according to the seven deadly sins, the four virtues and the three graces. This somewhat arbitrary classification feels sometimes strained, as Ricks struggles to pigeon-hole songs into one category or another. But far more fascinating than this academic chore is Ricks' exploration of the deep poetic and Biblical roots of some of Dylan's most popular tunes. With obvious love for his subject (and subject matter), Ricks shows, time and again, how Dylan makes use of the Great Poets in fashioning his unique and often haunted lyrics. Revealed is a musician who is not only a poet in his own right, but a well-read and thoughtful writer, who somehow accomplished the impossible: fashioning intelligent, thought-provoking music for a world obsessed with vapid vocals and meaningless "pop" standards.
Two minor flaws with the book. First: Ricks neglects a number of Bob's best songs--songs with fantastic lyrics and rhyme, songs that would seem to fit into his sin/virtue/grace framework perfectly (i.e., "Visions of Johanna," "Where Are You Tonight?", "Foot of Pride," "Black Diamond Bay," "Jokerman"). Of course, with over 500 songs to choose from, I suppose it's inevitable that some will be neglected. Still...
Second: Ricks is a fan of wordplay. Every page of the book is pregnant with puns, to the point where it becomes annoying. Too often, one is distracted from Dylan's brilliance by Ricks' literary showboating. Clearly a follower of the Vladimir Nabokov School of Alliterative Prose, Ricks struggles mightily for the appearance of cleverness, but his textual twists and turns frequently fall flat.
All in all, however, a wonderful (and serious) analysis of our greatest poet/songwriter, by a well-respected scholar. May Ricks' book be a launching pad for further serious studies of Dylan's work.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Take what you have gathered from coincidence ... 20. Juli 2004
Von R. Mumma - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
You'll be a little jealous, of course, wishing you had the literary storehouse of information and insight that Christopher Ricks has at his disposal from which to gather literary parallels, borrowings, and coincidences. I have never been more impressed by ANY book of criticism written about a modern writer or musician. To be honest, I have not yet finished "Dylan's Visions of Sin," but I couldn't wait to comment here after reading the detailed comparison of "Not Dark Yet" and Ode to a Nightingale (yes, KEATS' Ode to a Nightingale) on pages 359-374. Sound ridiculous? It won't after you've spent the first 350 pages getting to this tour de force reading of a deceptively simple song from Time Out of Mind. But not only is the close reading of these lyrics/poems (the distinction won't matter after awhile in the author's pleasant company) impressive, but this is also a very funny and very warm book. There's nothing cold or academic about it. And there's no psychobiography, or any biography at all. This is Bob Dylan stripped to his most essential gift, his words. It's an absolute joy to read and I recommend it unreservedly, even to those of you (or especially to those of you) who may have been put off by the singer's voice, or his associations with Christianity, Victoria's Secret, and the Traveling Wilburys. I'm finding myself pulling out all my old LPs, even the scratchy bootlegs in their plain white sleeves, and listening to them with brand new ears.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Imaginative and Imaginary 20. Juni 2004
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Christopher Ricks is very well known for taking Dylan seriously as a poet and this is the long awaited product of many years of reflection. The basic idea of dealing with Dylan's corpus in terms of sins, virtues and graces is imaginative and promises a well structured and coherent work. Ricks' approach is clever and almost obsessive in searching for hidden meanings. It is the sort of obsession that Dylan himself finds futile and at which he frequently gets angry in interviews. There is great emphasis upon word-play and word association, and a great deal of reference to what a particular line in a song reminds the writer of in a poet like Shelley or Wordsworth. His approach, while very like that of Gray's, is much more sophisticated, but nevertheless slightly irritating at times because it says more about the cleverness of the author than it does about the subject of the book. The interpretations are idiosyncratic and largely imaginery, but nevertheless executed with grace and charm. I found Dylan and Cohen: Poets of Rock and Roll very clear in its criticism of this type of approach, which I think the author of it calls the concordance approach to literary criticism. Boucher explains why you just don't ask of some songs what they mean, such as Losing my Religion by REM or Whiter Shade of Pale by Procul Harem, you just 'delight' in the images. Nevertheless Ricks' book is a must for Dylan fans and well worth reading.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Solid content, but leave the wordplay to the poets, please. 4. September 2004
Von Marc Shaw - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As a die-hard Dylan fan, I tend to try and get my hands on new stuff as soon as it appears. As a lover of English lit. I thought this book would be right up my alley. And it is...sort of. The content is solid, an interesting take, even if I disagree with Prof. Ricks that the concept of sin is the best way to "get hold of the bundle" of Dylan's songs. The book is an interesting read nonetheless, although of course what we have here is Chris Ricks' vision of Dylan's vision of sin, and the seven deadly sin grid we have here, while interesting, reveals little of Dylan's vision of sin. The biggest qualm I have with the book is Ricks' language. As if to prove he knows all the songs, even though many seemingly appropriate ones are omitted, he frequently includes song titles in descriptive sentences about other songs. The language is all too frequently all too clever and obfuscates rather than illuminates the point being made. The book would be much more enjoyable were it written in a more straightforward manner. The good Dr. covers interesting territory with a wealth of background knowledge, especially revealing are the connections to Keats and Melville...yet you can open up to almost any page and cringe at the unnecessarily "clever" passages and excessive parenthetical asides (and no, I am not wearing Boots of Spanish Leather as I write this review). See what I mean? Annoying. Sooo, thanks Christopher Ricks...buuuut...
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Essential for fans of Dylan as poet 29. Juli 2006
Von Royce E. Buehler - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
****1/2*

This book forms a kind of other bookend for Greil Marcus's matchless "Invisible Republic". That deeply perceptive study placed Dylan's work in the myth and paradox laden context of American folk and country and blues, especially its most obscure corners. This one looks at its literary context, noting echoes of Blake and Keats and the rest. And most of those echoes are really there.

Better yet, it examines Dylan's entire body of work as poetry. And it does that out of the most worthwhile tradition of poetic criticism, the "close reading" of Helen Vendler and others. What close readings do is to take each poem entirely on its own internal terms, without getting bogged down in biography and gossip and the psychosocial picking-apart of presumed ideologies which constitutes the Higher Gossip of much of academe. It looks at the poem line by line, word by word, asks how the words and images connect to other words and images within the same work, why the poet made the choices (s)he made, and by what technical means the poem acheives its effects on the reader.

That may sound dry, but it's the liveliest way of approaching a poem, because it assumes the poem is alive in its own right, and doesn't need extraneous issues dragged into it to bring it to life. In this spirit, Ricks examines songs from every stage of Dylan's career, always assuming the songwriter, consciously or by instinct, knew what he was doing.

Ricks has a habit of free-associating on particular snippets from the songs, in pyrotechnic wordplay aimed at divining what Dylan's own associations may have or must have been. It's annoying, but it also seems to be inseparable from his method of taking a loose step back from the lyrics in order to find tight connections that really do lie in their heart.

The results are worth that cost. The method foreordains that he will find genius in every piece he looks at, so that he seems to give the same weight to minor works like "If Not For You" and the whole Slow Train Coming period as he gives to the masterpieces. That's okay; much of the minor work deserved some of that rehabilitation. When it comes to the big stuff, his insights are deep and dead on. You'll never listen to "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" again without being aware of how Bob used feminine half-rhymes to create its sense of sober understatement, nor fail to hear in "Lay Down Your Weary Tune" its yearning for humility as a refuge.

After the songs themselves, Marcus, Chronicles Volume I, and Scorsese's "No Direction Home" are the core necessities for the Zimmerman collection. Ricks is a good bet for the next acquisition after those.
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