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Old October 13th, 2016, 11:02 AM   #11
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I like Bob Dylan's songs, but to give him a Nobel Prize for literature is about as justified as giving Obama the Nobel peace prize! Symptomatic of the committee playing to the crowd.
You are giving too much credence to Nobel prize. It is one of the most politicized prize in the world, and even science ones are politicized. You would be hard pressed to find a deserving candidate for it Literature category. Peace is a little better than literature ,but just a little.


Politicization and nepotism is a given in any award which is given to just few people every year.
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Old October 13th, 2016, 11:25 AM   #12

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I have just had a look down the list of literature laureates for the last 50 years, and of the authors whose works I know, I cannot find any whom I would positively say not to have deserved it (even if I don't like some of them!). Boll, Montale, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Mahfouz, Paz, Derek Walcott, Yasunari Kawabata, V.S. Naipaul, Mario Vargas Llosa - all of these are are were very fine writers by any standard. It is not that the prize is given to writers who are thoroughly undeserving, the problem is a rather different one, that writers of a certain type are favoured over others, and that people writing in languages unfamiliar to all of the judges are likely to be overlooked. It very much a prize which reflects the values of the Western liberal elite (which are not bad values in my view, but are undoubtedly limited if this meant to be a worldwide prize). It could hardly be otherwise, a truly worldwide literary prize would require regional juries, but this one is rooted in a Scandinavian society, and inevitably reflects that fact.
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Old October 13th, 2016, 11:47 AM   #13

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One thing about Dylan for sure is his ability to keep his work from being shown on sites like YouTube. I eventually found this half decent live version of Like a Rolling Stone on this site. On his infamous electric tour of England, which many of his fans saw as a sell out of his acoustic folk roots, someone loudly shouted out Judas just before he performed this song.

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Old October 13th, 2016, 12:27 PM   #14

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No writer has ever received a prize for their art. The prize is given for their politics. Make that their perceived politics.
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Old October 13th, 2016, 12:37 PM   #15

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I like Bob Dylan's songs, but to give him a Nobel Prize for literature is about as justified as giving Obama the Nobel peace prize! Symptomatic of the committee playing to the crowd.
Just today in Italy Dario Fo has died. He got the same Nobel Prize. Overall Fo has been a great theater actor, but at least he wrote some great works.

Probably the Nobel committee interprets the conceptualization of "literature" in an extended way.
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Old October 13th, 2016, 12:40 PM   #16

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One thing about Dylan for sure is his ability to keep his work from being shown on sites like YouTube. I eventually found this half decent live version of Like a Rolling Stone on this site. On his infamous electric tour of England, which many of his fans saw as a sell out of his acoustic folk roots, someone loudly shouted out Judas just before he performed this song.

To be ignored by the internet masses doesn't mean to be "superior" or better or special. It means to be ignored ...

Personally I know a little Bob Dylan and I don't like his music. But a Nobel Prize is not about likes or dislikes.

A proper literature Nobel Prize should be about meaningful works. Song lyrics can be great poems, but they are song lyrics, not proper literature.
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Old October 13th, 2016, 12:47 PM   #17

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A proper literature Nobel Prize should be about meaningful works. Song lyrics can be great poems, but they are song lyrics, not proper literature.
See post seven I agree with you.
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Old October 13th, 2016, 01:02 PM   #18

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Back to the theme of Dylan's songwriting. This is another song about an injustice carried out against a Black man. Unlike Hattie Carrol, The Hurricane was about a high profile black boxer who was locked up for life for a murder he did not commit.

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Old October 13th, 2016, 01:41 PM   #19
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A proper literature Nobel Prize should be about meaningful works. Song lyrics can be great poems, but they are song lyrics, not proper literature.
Surely a 'great poem' is proper literature, and can be 'meaningful', whether set to music or not? Quality is not determined by genre but simply by how well-written, good song lyrics can be better literature than bad poetry.
Compare Thomas Campion, English poet, composer etc (1567-1620), he published (good) poetry and books of songs - his ability to write good words didn't vanish as soon as music was involved.

(I'm not saying anything about Dylan here - having grown up with his words in the '60's my evaluation is maybe too mixed up with nostalgia. Anyway I think the best songs of Leonard Cohen are maybe even better than the best Dylan - Cohen being another one recognised as a poet as well as lyricist)
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Old October 13th, 2016, 01:53 PM   #20

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Surely a 'great poem' is proper literature, and can be 'meaningful', whether set to music or not? Quality is not determined by genre but simply by how well-written, good song lyrics can be better literature than bad poetry.
Compare Thomas Campion, English poet, composer etc (1567-1620), he published (good) poetry and books of songs - his ability to write good words didn't vanish as soon as music was involved.

(I'm not saying anything about Dylan here - having grown up with his words in the '60's my evaluation is maybe too mixed up with nostalgia. Anyway I think the best songs of Leonard Cohen are maybe even better than the best Dylan - Cohen being another one recognised as a poet as well as lyricist)
From the perspective of semiotics [in memory of Umberto Eco] I can say just that they should add a Nobel Prize for music.

Song lyrics are not proper literature, since the "dominating meaning" stays in the music, not in the lyrics. I'm Italian, I know many English songs, but I need to pay attention to remind the lyrics. Music wins on words when it's time to consider a song.

Proper literature is something you read or listen [with or without music] as main message. If music passes from background to the main message ... that's no more literature.

With good peace of Bob Dylan.
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