Rolling stone gets its reward

Rolling stone gets its reward

Dylan Thomas has nothing on Bob Dylan.

Folk singer and songwriter Bob Dylan last week received the Nobel Prize for literature, proving beyond any doubt that it's not just politics that's crazy in 2016.

No one, of course, should begrudge this fabulously talented musician his award. He's at least as worthy of the Nobel Prize for literature as President Barack Obama was for the Nobel Peace Prize he received shortly after taking office in 2009.

At least Dylan established a long body of work before receiving this highly prestigious award. Obama was feted in anticipation of what he would do, and, as it has turned out, peace hasn't had much to do with it.

It's an interesting choice, which is not to say that it's either a good or a bad choice. We'll leave it to critics on both sides of that question to fight that out.

As a musical performer with what has been described as a "cawing, derisive voice," Dylan doesn't fall into the traditional categories set aside for Nobel laureates.

Still, there are people who compare his song lyrics to Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.

One thing is for sure. There's no arguing with success, and Dylan is among the pre-eminent songwriters of this or any other time. Inspired by Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams, among others, Dylan's lyrics are at times moving, biting and satirical, almost always interesting. His song lyrics feature an effusion of words that somehow fit into rollicking tunes that remain embedded in the minds of millions of his fans.

In addition to the music and lyrics, he cuts a fascinating figure. Both iconoclast and conformist — as multimillionaire rebels cannot help but be — Dylan is symbolic of his self-indulgent generation, brilliant perhaps, but easy to caricature.

But none of that matters now. He has an official stamp of approval as a wordsmith with few peers. Maybe he can make a good song out of this most unusual twist of fate.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion

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Sid Saltfork wrote on October 19, 2016 at 1:10 pm

It seems evident that the author of this article never read the words of Dylan's songs.  I had no idea that Dylan's, and my generation are self-indulgent.  Vietnam veterans both enlistees, draftees were self-indulgent?  Either the author is in their 80's, or younger than 60.  Either way their opinion is just blowing in the wind.

Don't worry about Dylan accepting the Nobel Prize.  The Nobel committee has tried to contact him since the prize was announced.  He has not responded yet.  By the way, what does President Barrack Obama's Noble Prize have any thing to do with Dylan's Nobel Prize?  What does American politics have to do with Sweden's Noble Prize selections?

CommonSenseless wrote on October 20, 2016 at 11:10 am

The Obama angle is thus: Dylan's body of work is no more or less underwhelming than Obama's when he won, and at least he had a body of work to review unlike Obama. It has nothing to do with politics.....just a swipe at all, Dylan, Obama, and Nobel committee. I believe its called trolling, and it worked on you.

Kirsten wrote on October 19, 2016 at 10:10 pm

Great comment, Sid. I too wondered who is this writer criticizing Dylan on the basis of generation, as I thought most of the editorials were written by similarly aged guys.