Monday, April 15, 2024

Bob Dylan Won The Nobel Prize In Literature And Everyone Has An Opinion About It

This sentence will either infuriate or inspire you: Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. He joins a laureate ranks that includes Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, Kenzaburō Ōe, Samuel Becket and many others.

Dylan, however, is the first musician to ever claim the award and the first American to win since Morrison in 1993.

Perhaps to preempt the possible criticism of Dylan’s win, the Nobel committee released a statement, saying, Dylan “recorded a large number of albums revolving around topics like the social conditions of man, religion, politics and love”

The Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary, Sara Danius, compared Dylan’s work to that of the ancient Greek poets. “”If you look back, far back, 2,500 years or so, you discover Homer and Sappho and they wrote poetic texts that were meant to be listened to, that were meant to be performed, often with instruments—and it’s the same way with Bob Dylan,” she said.

He “is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition,” she summed up.

Reaction to such news was, unsurprisingly, divided on social media. Some celebrated the win while others demurred about American writers who could possibly have won, like Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, and Philip Roth, who famously used to sit in his agent’s office every year awaiting the phone call.

The Guardian’s Alex Needham also reached out to preeminent American novelist Jonathan Franzen for a comment. He responded in true snarky Franzen fashion: “It’s a bitter disappointment to those of us who hoped that Morrissey would win this year. But it gives us hope for next year.”

Dylan was not a favorite coming into Thursday’s announcement. According to Ladbrokes, top contenders included Japanese novelist Haurki Marukami, Kenyan Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, DeLillo, and Spain’s Javier Marías.

Still unsure on your feelings? Maybe these Dylan tracks (hold the blood) will help you decide.

The most essential news, culture, entertainment, pop culture, and culture coverage that you need to know. Interested in more? Check out these stories: “Norway’s Prime Minster Is Really Into Pokemon Go and Gaming,” “Ken Bone’s ‘Journal’: A Fresh Toast Exclusive,” Study: Annoying Ducks Who Loved To Honk Probably Woke Up The Dinosaurs Every Morning.”

Posted By: Brendan Bures


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