Deciphering Cultural History By Connecting Unconnected Strands

Unlike those who write dry, hyper-specialized academic criticism, Greil Marcus isn’t afraid, as one reader of his once put it, to let “everything remind him of everything else.” While discussing, say, a Bob Dylan B-side, he can suddenly juxtapose a line from one of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches with a particularly biting piece of dialogue from an obscure noir. This intuitive collage of different voices can offer the reader insights that aren’t available otherwise. – The Baffler

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