June 28, 2004

I hitched up my pony to a post on the right

As an amateur Dylanologist, I am just plain giddy at the discovery that Christopher Hitchens cites this blog in his Weekly Standard review of Christopher Ricks' Dylan's Visions of Sin.

Oddly, perhaps, Ricks spends almost no time on the influences that Dylan actually does affirm or the influences that we know about. "Blowin' In the Wind" borrows from an old slave spiritual called "No More Auction Block," with its haunting words about "many thousands gone." Dylan was actually sued by Dominic Behan, brother of Brendan, for plagiarizing not only the tune but the concept of "The Patriot Game" for his "With God on Our Side." More recently, his song about a Japanese yakuza was tracked down to an obscure but identifiable source, while the deft Daniel Radosh has blogged a near-perfect match between Dylan's "Cross the Green Mountain" (written for Ron Maxwell's movie Gods and Generals) and Walt Whitman's "Come up from the Fields, Father." If I had to surmise another influence, it would be William Blake, not just for the speculative reasons given by Ricks but because, as Blake phrased it: "A Last Judgment is Necessary because Fools flourish."

By the way, Hitchens does not actually read Radosh.net (whew!). My father tipped him to my Green Mt. post and he e-mailed me to ask for a copy, though at the time I thought it was the just idle curiosity of a fellow fan.

Either way, I'm sure Kev is going to cry conspiracy.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Sounds like a perfectly awful book.

Post a comment

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2