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Tributes for Dylan — as well as the Nobel’s unconventional choice — came from across the world and spanned from the worlds of politics to letters.
“Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition. Great choice,” said a Twitter message from British novelist Salman Rushdie. Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet, called the honor for Dylan a “joy” and recalled “many fond memories from my adolescence are associated with his music.”
Just after 7 a.m., songwriter Rosanne Cash was in her New York home when her husband John ran down the stairs “like an elephant.”
“Dylan won the Nobel prize,” he shouted.
“No,” said Cash, “that can’t be true.”
Cash, whose legendary late father, Johnny, was a friend and sometime collaborator with Dylan, spent the rest of the morning beaming. She also received a flurry of text messages, everyone from songwriter Marc Cohn to her literary agent.
“The chatter is this pride and that finally he gets recognized in this way that equates songwriting with great literature,” said Cash. “I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me, because I also write prose, ‘oh, you’re also a real writer.’ It’s so offensive. Like songwriting doesn’t require the same discipline. So the fact that he’s recognized lifts all of our boats.”
You want to hear a song that should be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, in which Bob Dylan has a walk on part?
This award to Dylan, of all people, not George Gershwin, not Cole Porter, not Hoagy Carmichael, not Neil Young, not Lennon McCartney, is a bizarre attempt by a committee to generate a little buzz for an award that is increasingly seen as a political instrument.
Nobel's choice of emphasis on idealism in his criteria for the Nobel Prize in Literature has led to recurrent controversy. In the original Swedish, the word idealisk translates as either "idealistic" or "ideal". In the early twentieth century, the Nobel Committee interpreted the intent of the will strictly. For this reason, they did not award certain world-renowned authors of the time such as James Joyce, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Marcel Proust, Henrik Ibsen, and Henry James. More recently, the wording has been more liberally interpreted. Thus, the prize is now awarded both for lasting literary merit and for evidence of consistent idealism on some significant level. In recent years, this means a kind of idealism championing human rights on a broad scale. Hence, the award is now arguably more political.
The Swedish Academy has attracted significant criticism in recent years for its handling of the award. Some critics contend that many well-known writers have not been awarded the prize or even been nominated and others contend that some well-known recipients do not deserve it. There have also been controversies involving alleged political interests relating to the nomination process and ultimate selection of some of the recent literary laureates. Some, such as Indian academic Sabaree Mitra, have noted that, though the Nobel Prize in Literature is significant and tends to overshadow other awards, it is "not the only benchmark of literary excellence"
originally posted by: Floridagoat
a reply to: pteridine
So true, Obama got a peace prize, Dylan get's a Literature prize. Time to evaluate who is doing the judging and awarding.
originally posted by: Spiramirabilis
So - you see this s being about commercial success? Popularity?
I think he made one of the quickest transitions from artist to poseur in the history of music, something that probably would not have been noticed, except that his reputation continued to linger, sustained by fumes of hippie nostalgia, for so long after his talent was gone.
Anyhow, I would have loved a real discussion. Not going to happen here I guess :-)