Friday, October 14, 2016
Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate
The world yesterday learned of the decision of the Swedish Academy to Award the Nobel Prize for Literature for 2016 to Bob Dylan. Dylan, the first American to win this honor since Toni Morrison in 1993, can be described as many things...musician, singer, songwriter, Chronicler of a Generation (a trite title which Dylan himself eschews), a "song and dance man" (his own description), lyricist and poet, and it was that last description that the Academy used in making this award. Sara Danius, Secretary of the Academy, in making the announcement, described Dylan as "a great Poet in the English speaking tradition" and credited him with "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." She also suggested that people seeking reasons why they award was bestowed could start by listening to the seminal album, "Blonde on Blonde", and that, by the way, is what is currently playing in the background as I type out this post.
Of course, such a non-traditional awardee is being greeted with some skepticism and even derision by some in the literary world, proving that Bob Dylan at 75 years of age and after over fifty years in the public eye is still capable of shaking windows and rattling walls.
Congratulations, Bob Dylan, and thank you.