Christopher Ricks


Biography of Christopher Ricks

Sir Christopher Bruce Ricks (born 1933) is a British literary critic and scholar. He is the William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities at Boston University (U.S.) and Co-Director of the Editorial Institute at Boston University, and was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford (England) from 2004 to 2009. He is the immediate past-president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. He is known as a champion of Victorian poetry; an enthusiast of Bob Dylan, whose lyrics he has analysed at book-length; a trenchant reviewer of writers he considers pretentious (Marshall McLuhan, Christopher Norris, Geoffrey Hartman, Stanley Fish); and a warm reviewer of those he thinks humane or humorous (F. R. Leavis, W. K. Wimsatt, Christina Stead). Hugh Kenner has praised his 'intent eloquence', and Geoffrey Hill his 'unrivalled critical intelligence'. W. H. Auden described Ricks as 'exactly the kind of critic every poet dreams of finding'. John Carey calls him the 'greatest living critic.

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