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BarkellWH

Posts: 3247
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

Bob Dylan Awarded 2016 Nobel Prize f... 

Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature. Dylan earned the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," according to the citation by the Swedish Academy, the committee that annually decides the recipient of the Nobel Prize.

It seems a bit unusual, but in my opinion Dylan's entire work, from the earliest to the present day, has indeed put poetry to work in the service of music. It is a good choice. At least the Nobel Committee did not award the literature prize to some obscure East European author whom few have heard of and whose work fewer still have read.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 13 2016 22:33:50
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1799
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: Bob Dylan Awarded 2016 Nobel Pri... (in reply to BarkellWH


Ole Bob! I always liked this protest about institutional racism. Good on the Nobel committee for not awarding the award to some obscure God damned French singer that nobody outside France can appreciate.

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tú ahora no me conoces.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 13 2016 23:05:44
 
Piwin

Posts: 3298
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Bob Dylan Awarded 2016 Nobel Pri... (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

At least the Nobel Committee did not award the literature prize to some obscure East European author whom few have heard of and whose work fewer still have read


Right. They should've awarded the prize to E.L. James for Fifty Shades of Grey. She has the benefit of writing in English and most people will have at least heard of her or her work. Screw Ivo Andric. Few people have read him.


Good for Dylan though. He is a good choice.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2016 6:15:02
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3131
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Bob Dylan Awarded 2016 Nobel Pri... (in reply to Piwin

It would be hard to overestimate the magnitude of Dylan's effect on the under-thirty "counter-culture" of the 1960s in the USA.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2016 7:50:02
 
Piwin

Posts: 3298
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Bob Dylan Awarded 2016 Nobel Pri... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Agreed. I think on the whole the Nobel prize gets it right when estimating the impact or "contribution" that any given author has made. All of them have had impacts that are more or less limited in space and in time. Bergson's contribution to European philosophical thought at the beginning of the 20th century was huge, but few still read him or even know about him, including in Europe. Tagore was the PdL of litterature in Bengal. Everything after him was defined by or compared to him. But outside of his area of the world, his readers are few and far between. Mahfouz brought existentialism to the Arab world, but was virtually unkown outside of it.
Dylan's impact, while great, is also limited in space. I see no reason to diss the authors from the former Eastern block just because I was not in their area or time of impact. All the more that, excluding Russia, there have only been 10 laureates from EEcs out of a total of 113. I would agree with what is implied in Dudnote's comment that French writers are overrepresented. I suppose it depends on whether one is considering the impact of their work within literature or a more general impact on others. Most of the French nominees were/are monuments in literature and have had a huge impact on other writers, but very little direct impact on people outside of it.

As for choosing Dylan, I think Salman Rushdie summed it up nicely:
"From Orpheus to Faiz,song & poetry have been closely linked. Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition.Great choice."

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2016 8:19:15
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3247
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Bob Dylan Awarded 2016 Nobel Pri... (in reply to Piwin

quote:


Right. They should've awarded the prize to E.L. James for Fifty Shades of Grey. She has the benefit of writing in English and most people will have at least heard of her or her work. Screw Ivo Andric. Few people have read him.


No, the Nobel Prize for Literature is not a popularity contest among those who write for the lowest common denominator. It recognizes serious literature, but it should go to those authors whose work has had an impact on society in one form or another, political, social, literary, etc.

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, for example, wrote in the tradition of the great Russian authors, yet he gained a worldwide readership and had a huge impact. George Seferis was a Greek (born when Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire) poet whose work is still read by serious students of poetry, as is the Greek poet Cavafy whose setting was Alexandria (before Nasser drove out the Greeks, Jews, and Armenians).

Just as an aside, two authors whose works are both serious and still widely read, who never received the Nobel Prize for Literature but, in my opinion, should have, were Graham Greene and Jorge Luis Borges. Over the years speculation, whether true or not, has suggested that the Swedish Academy denied both authors the prize for literature because Greene was too far to the Left, and Borges was too far to the Right. Regardless of their personal political positions, both produced beautifully written and interesting works, and, in my opinion, both should have been Nobel Laureates.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2016 11:59:47
 
Piwin

Posts: 3298
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Bob Dylan Awarded 2016 Nobel Pri... (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

No, the Nobel Prize for Literature is not a popularity contest among those who write for the lowest common denominator. It recognizes serious literature, but it should go to those authors whose work has had an impact on society in one form or another, political, social, literary, etc.


Agreed. I suppose I just don't get where your comment about obscure East European writers is coming from. The two nominees that struck me as most odd were Tomas Tranströmer (it was in fact suggested that the Committee fell back on him when they saw the backlash when the name of Dylan had come out as the potential winner, that was 4 or 5 years ago if I remember correctly) and Saint-John Perse, whose writing was average at best and whose impact seems to have been negligeable.

There was a time where the Committee managed to transcend the political and, in a few short years, handed the prize out to Kipling and Tagore, two sides of the colonial coin. I hope this hasn't changed but that might just be a fool's hope. Borges and Greene would both be well-deserving winners.

_____________________________

"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2016 12:23:36
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Bob Dylan Awarded 2016 Nobel Pri... (in reply to BarkellWH

He deserves it and it was a good choice. Dylan has had influence over major world leaders and inspired people as far away as Russia. Vaclav Havel spoke about the literature of rock music and how it inspired the people of the Eastern block countries to seek liberty. In the US Dylan was an Icon of the counter culture, in the Eastern block his recordings were passed around underground, the counter culture was not as much a rebellious generation gap as it was a dawn to an awakening of new governance. Havel talked about rock and roll as a symbol of change and hope for those living with totalitarian oppression.

Writers from the US don't win every year, and a well considered choice; the last American to win was Tony Morrison in 1993.

I'm not really even a Bob Dylan fan, but I can see the relevance of the choice from the perspective of those he has inspired and given pleasure to around the world. His work is imbued with something of the universal in the Western World. Awarding he prize to Dylan also moves the prize from the realm of Literature with a capital 'L', to literature of many kinds. It opens the way for other genres of worthy vernacular literature to be recognized as valuable to the world community.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 14 2016 12:51:06
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