Recreational Impossibilities

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The only sensible thing to do when you are attacked is, as Napoleon once said, to counter-attack
Roald Dahl, Matilda

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I’ve been homesick for countries I’ve never been, and longed to be where I couldn’t be
John Cheever

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That’s something that poets have been doing forever,” says Harvard classics professor Richard Thomas, who has written academic papers on Dylan’s use of the work of the first-century poet Virgil. “It’s a way of alluding to or correcting or parodying what came before,” Thomas told me last week. “You hear the stolen line, but it’s replaced by its new context. That’s how folk music works, how the blues works.

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