Bob Dylan And The Nobel Prize In Literature

In 2016, the folk tale, country/rock & roll musician Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Now, I know what, you’re thinking a musician is winning an award for authors and poets. Sounds unfair, right? Well, if you answered yes, you, and many others agree as well. This prize caused a considerable huge controversy which led people to write over 2 thousand essays.

For those who don’t know who Bob Dylan is, he’s an artist and a writer not only that but, he’s a civil rights activist as well.

Dylan has been a figure in popular culture for more than fifty years. His music was so revolutionary in the 1960s when songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963) and “The Times They Are a-Changin'” (1964) became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-war movement.

Even though I can go on and on about how great he and, how much he deserves this award. There was a vast amount of the literary community will say he doesn’t.

Some insist that he’s a songwriter, not a poet. Which this is, in all honesty, a valid argument. Bob Dylan is writing songs, not poetry. His words need to make music come to life. Poetry comes to life on its own. His words are captivating when you hear him sing. When you read it on paper, it’s flat, and the rhythm of poetry is lacking. Bob Dylan writes words for the stage, not on paper. Also, people think that “He’s great because he’s an excellent musician, and when the Nobel Committee awarded a literary prize to a musician, it misses the opportunity to honor a writer.

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I can understand why some people were upset about it. Literary prizes are more essential than ever because people don’t read as much as they use to. Winning a big title mean writers get a leap in sales and readership. It’s more than just that, a novelist or poet being awarded the Novel Prize “is a way of affirming that fiction and poetry still matter, that they are crucial human endeavors worthy of international recognition.”

Famous artist and songs already receive the recognition they deserve. You wouldn’t hear or see hardly anything about a writer being in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Maybe the committee didn’t mean a slight fiction or poetry with its choice. By choosing a musical icon, the members of the committee may have wanted to connect with the younger generation.

There were several ways they could have achieved “this while still honoring a writer. They could have chosen a writer who has made significant innovations in the form or selects a writer from the developing world, which remains poorly under-represented among Nobel laureates.”

From The New York Times, October 13, 2016 ©2016 The New York Times. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited.

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