Dec 4 Sun 11am Supreme appreciator Christopher Ricks on Bob Dylan’s Words at the 92nd St YMHA

Creator appreciator
In an all too rare appearance in Manhattan the inimitable Ricks, at a lively and razor sharp 83 the world’s preeminent literary specialist in pointing out and up the hidden facets and brilliancies of the creations of masters of words from Milton, Keats, Tennyson, Henry James and Eliot to Bob Dylan arrived from Boston at the ungodly hour of 11 am on Sunday to delight a packed audience on the 92nd St Y’s Weill Art Gallery with his patented stream of apercus in regard to Dylan’s work on his way to the Nobel ceremony which will be held on Saturday in Stockholm Concert Hall, apparently without the songster himself actually turning up – he wrote that he would attend ‘if at all possible’ which means of course not at all” parsed Ricks when he was taking questions at the end of his own performance, a lecture typically speedy and spontaneous in style which exhaustively treated the question of how white skinned Dylan wrote such penetratingly direct verse on the black experience without self conscious distance or attitude, a rushing quicksilver rumination he titled All because of the Color of his Skin, in which every phrase led us down the rabbit hole of imaginative association in which Ricks specializes to elucidate meanings far beyond the ken of casual listeners, a deep practice that so enhances a work that there is little doubt Ricks’ two books on Dylan were the decisive source that triggered the Nobel for Literature for him this year, a roller coaster of ideas and images in a room that was “made for thinking rather than feeling” he said but in which he played a video of an early Dylan performance and then audio selections of Dylan, and for comparison Black Cross by Joseph S. Newman, Oxford Town, and Lawrence Olivier and then Lawrence Fishburn’s Othello’s speech “Of one that lov’d not wisely, but too well”

Nothing better than a Christopher Ricks appreciation of your work, even if you're Bob Dylan - who surely has to thank Ricks for his Nobel

Nothing better than a Christopher Ricks appreciation of your work, even if you’re Bob Dylan – who surely has to thank Ricks for his Nobel

Christopher Ricks, highly regarded for his scholarship on Eliot, Beckett and Tennyson, discusses his work on the newly published edition of Bob Dylan’s Lyrics, which collects all the lyrics and variants from studio recordings and live performances. “For fifty years, all the world has delighted in Bob Dylan’s books of words and more than words,” Ricks wrote. “Provocative, mysterious, touching, baffling, not-to-be-pinneddown, intriguing and a reminder that genius is free to do as it chooses.”

On Dylan’s Lyrics with Christopher Ricks
Date: Sun, Dec 4, 2016, 11 am

Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd St
Venue: Weill Art Gallery
Price: from $42.00

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