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Rumors have long persisted that Purple Rain was partially inspired by Samuel R. Delany’s fantastical masterpiece Dhalgren. Both stories’ protagonists are referred to only as “the Kid,” and there is indeed a resemblance between Delany’s crumbling Midwestern town Bellona and Prince’s Minneapolis. It could be just a rumor, but Prince was known for being an eclectic and voracious reader, and the resemblance is there.


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