When Bob Dylan wrote, “The Times They Are A Changin’,” I doubt he had the Swedish Academy in mind. Nevertheless, by awarding him the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature the Academy has made a bold statement for a change in the way songwriting is viewed as literature.
Many people have already complained that there were many more worthy potential recipients. But let’s face the facts: Bob Dylan won, and they lost.
He likely didn’t even know he was competing. (Reportedly, he was in Las Vegas for a performance when the award was announced.) But he won.
Now, I suppose it could be argued, as have some, that he hasn’t really produced any literature. Whatever one thinks of him winning, however, I don’t think that’s fair. Haters gonna hate, I guess.
The official press release, cited here in full, states, “The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016 is awarded to Bob Dylan ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.’”
This isn’t much to go on. One would think that with such a revolutionary choice, more explanation would be in order. But, I mean, c’mon. (more…)