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Bob Dylan wins Nobel Literature Prize

mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,390
edited October 2016 in The cake stop
So Bob can take his place with Winston Churchill, W.B. Yeats and others.

Personally I think it's well deserved. However it may open the door for the likes of Bono or Sting to be honoured.
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  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,687
    Possibly 40 odd years too late but well deserved IMHO.

    An incredible canon of work 1962-1975 and some good stuff since.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,390
    It's a type of lifetime achievement award, and it's about the endurance of the body of work. So John Nash (featued in the movie "A Beautiful Mind") got his prize for theories he wrote 30+ years earlier that had subsequently become part of the fabric of economic theory.

    As to why Obama and Henry Kissinger got Nobel Peace Prizes, the mind still boggles.

    I don't think anyone has picked up an acoustic guitar since 1965 without being influenced either first or second hand by Dylan.

    He is only the second person, after George Bernard Shaw, to hold a Nobel prize and an Oscar.
  • TashmanTashman Posts: 2,735
    Strange, I don't associate a musician with literature. Maybe it's just me
  • I read about a professor who specialized in poetry of the modern era who had started to study modern music lyrics. He was highly complimentary of Bob Dylan's body of work. IIRC he said it had a lot of the characteristics of good poetry with metre, use our words, imagery, etc. It was poetry he concluded and good poetry at that. Worthy of comparison site with any other body of work.

    IMHO I don't like famous musicians being lauded as high art but I don't think the few exceptions will lead to bono getting the same recognition. He's not in the same literary calibre as Dylan. He might be more famous though that's not Nobel laureate criteria.
  • Strange, I don't associate a musician with literature. Maybe it's just me

    Some would say they don't associate Bob Dylan with music

    (particularly in recent mumble mode)
  • TashmanTashman Posts: 2,735
    Strange, I don't associate a musician with literature. Maybe it's just me

    Some would say they don't associate Bob Dylan with music

    (particularly in recent mumble mode)
    This too tbh, his whiney nasal voice doesn't really do it for me
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    He writes words on paper, he has as much right to be considered and/or win as any other writer i guess. Personally I like his work, but he owes a lot to Arlo Guthrie for his looks, presentation, singing style etc. Perhaps the next winner will be Leonard Cohen who Dylan considers as the next best song writer?
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,390
    He writes words on paper, he has as much right to be considered and/or win as any other writer i guess. Personally I like his work, but he owes a lot to Arlo Guthrie for his looks, presentation, singing style etc. Perhaps the next winner will be Leonard Cohen who Dylan considers as the next best song writer?

    I think you mean Woody Guthrie, who Dylan idolised and never hid how influenced he was by him. The point is loads of singers were emulating Woody Guthrie and the other "Dustbowl Poets" when Dylan was starting out, but Dylan rose head and shoulders above them all and actually moved forward, particularly lyrically, at a rate of knots compared to his contemporaries. Starting with Chimes of Freedom and My Back Pages from The Other Side of Bob Dylan, you can see the influence of contemporary poets like Ginsberg coming through.
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    mrfpb wrote:
    He writes words on paper, he has as much right to be considered and/or win as any other writer i guess. Personally I like his work, but he owes a lot to Arlo Guthrie for his looks, presentation, singing style etc. Perhaps the next winner will be Leonard Cohen who Dylan considers as the next best song writer?

    I think you mean Woody Guthrie, who Dylan idolised and never hid how influenced he was by him. The point is loads of singers were emulating Woody Guthrie and the other "Dustbowl Poets" when Dylan was starting out, but Dylan rose head and shoulders above them all and actually moved forward, particularly lyrically, at a rate of knots compared to his contemporaries. Starting with Chimes of Freedom and My Back Pages from The Other Side of Bob Dylan, you can see the influence of contemporary poets like Ginsberg coming through.
    ahh yes sorry, I stand corrected, as an aside, was reading an excellent article yesterday that had pointers to Dylans relationship with Cohen, very interesting read for those of you that are interested in a great era of songwriting
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/ ... -it-darker
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,687
    mrfpb wrote:
    He writes words on paper, he has as much right to be considered and/or win as any other writer i guess. Personally I like his work, but he owes a lot to Arlo Guthrie for his looks, presentation, singing style etc. Perhaps the next winner will be Leonard Cohen who Dylan considers as the next best song writer?

    as an aside, was reading an excellent article yesterday that had pointers to Dylans relationship with Cohen, very interesting read for those of you that are interested in a great era of songwriting
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/ ... -it-darker

    Blimey! That takes some reading . . . but, as you say, very interesting - thanks for that
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    laurentian wrote:
    mrfpb wrote:
    He writes words on paper, he has as much right to be considered and/or win as any other writer i guess. Personally I like his work, but he owes a lot to Arlo Guthrie for his looks, presentation, singing style etc. Perhaps the next winner will be Leonard Cohen who Dylan considers as the next best song writer?

    as an aside, was reading an excellent article yesterday that had pointers to Dylans relationship with Cohen, very interesting read for those of you that are interested in a great era of songwriting
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/ ... -it-darker

    Blimey! That takes some reading . . . but, as you say, very interesting - thanks for that
    you're welcome, the letter he wrote to Marianne on her deathbed, very poignant :(
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,687
    laurentian wrote:
    mrfpb wrote:
    He writes words on paper, he has as much right to be considered and/or win as any other writer i guess. Personally I like his work, but he owes a lot to Arlo Guthrie for his looks, presentation, singing style etc. Perhaps the next winner will be Leonard Cohen who Dylan considers as the next best song writer?

    as an aside, was reading an excellent article yesterday that had pointers to Dylans relationship with Cohen, very interesting read for those of you that are interested in a great era of songwriting
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/ ... -it-darker

    Blimey! That takes some reading . . . but, as you say, very interesting - thanks for that
    you're welcome, the letter he wrote to Marianne on her deathbed, very poignant :(

    Indeed it was. I have to say I have never taken the time to listen to much LC. That which I have heard I have very much enjoyed - the article has perhaps nudged me towards listening to some more. I have been a big Dylan fan for most of my life and was very interested in what he was saying about his admiration for LC's melodies . . .
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,390
    One of the biggest bargains in terms of price and quality.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Studi ... B005F8CL1S

    It isn't complete anymore as he has released 3 albums since 2011 (including the new one)

    Or you could go for Live in London or LIve in Dublin as samplers before diving in to the big box.
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    mrfpb wrote:
    One of the biggest bargains in terms of price and quality.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Studi ... B005F8CL1S

    It isn't complete anymore as he has released 3 albums since 2011 (including the new one)

    Or you could go for Live in London or LIve in Dublin as samplers before diving in to the big box.
    good shout!
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    Sometimes takes a genius to point out the genius in other people - Quote

    Dylan, who is seventy-five, doesn’t often play the role of music critic, but he proved eager to discuss Leonard Cohen. I put a series of questions to him about Number 1, and he answered in a detailed, critical way—nothing cryptic or elusive.

    “When people talk about Leonard, they fail to mention his melodies, which to me, along with his lyrics, are his greatest genius,” Dylan said. “Even the counterpoint lines—they give a celestial character and melodic lift to every one of his songs. As far as I know, no one else comes close to this in modern music. Even the simplest song, like ‘The Law,’ which is structured on two fundamental chords, has counterpoint lines that are essential, and anybody who even thinks about doing this song and loves the lyrics would have to build around the counterpoint lines.

    “His gift or genius is in his connection to the music of the spheres,” Dylan went on. “In the song ‘Sisters of Mercy,’ for instance, the verses are four elemental lines which change and move at predictable intervals . . . but the tune is anything but predictable. The song just comes in and states a fact. And after that anything can happen and it does, and Leonard allows it to happen. His tone is far from condescending or mocking. He is a tough-minded lover who doesn’t recognize the brush-off. Leonard’s always above it all. ‘Sisters of Mercy’ is verse after verse of four distinctive lines, in perfect meter, with no chorus, quivering with drama. The first line begins in a minor key. The second line goes from minor to major and steps up, and changes melody and variation. The third line steps up even higher than that to a different degree, and then the fourth line comes back to the beginning. This is a deceptively unusual musical theme, with or without lyrics. But it’s so subtle a listener doesn’t realize he’s been taken on a musical journey and dropped off somewhere, with or without lyrics.”
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,687
    mrfpb wrote:
    One of the biggest bargains in terms of price and quality.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Studi ... B005F8CL1S

    It isn't complete anymore as he has released 3 albums since 2011 (including the new one)

    Or you could go for Live in London or LIve in Dublin as samplers before diving in to the big box.

    Eleven albums for £25??? I'm in.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    I read about a professor who specialized in poetry of the modern era who had started to study modern music lyrics. He was highly complimentary of Bob Dylan's body of work. IIRC he said it had a lot of the characteristics of good poetry with metre, use our words, imagery, etc. It was poetry he concluded and good poetry at that. Worthy of comparison site with any other body of work.

    Nearly all song lyrics can be conceived of as poetry so said Professor was rather stating the obvious! In fact early poetry was nearly always accompanied by music so Bob is part of a long tradition. What is different about Dylan is that his lyrics, as you say, stand up to any "modern" poetry.
  • Paulie W wrote:
    I read about a professor who specialized in poetry of the modern era who had started to study modern music lyrics. He was highly complimentary of Bob Dylan's body of work. IIRC he said it had a lot of the characteristics of good poetry with metre, use our words, imagery, etc. It was poetry he concluded and good poetry at that. Worthy of comparison site with any other body of work.

    Nearly all song lyrics can be conceived of as poetry so said Professor was rather stating the obvious! In fact early poetry was nearly always accompanied by music so Bob is part of a long tradition. What is different about Dylan is that his lyrics, as you say, stand up to any "modern" poetry.
    That was my point, that his lyrics are critically important. They have a quality that puts them into a higher art than most of songsmiths. Poetry and story telling to a meter has a long history, probably much, much older than Homeric traditions in the west. However the professor was.specifically putting a context to popular, music with Dylan by comparing it to bodies of work from mainstream literary figures. Dylan versus Dylan would be one curiosity to compare. Surname versus Christian name. :D
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    Paulie W wrote:
    I read about a professor who specialized in poetry of the modern era who had started to study modern music lyrics. He was highly complimentary of Bob Dylan's body of work. IIRC he said it had a lot of the characteristics of good poetry with metre, use our words, imagery, etc. It was poetry he concluded and good poetry at that. Worthy of comparison site with any other body of work.

    Nearly all song lyrics can be conceived of as poetry so said Professor was rather stating the obvious! In fact early poetry was nearly always accompanied by music so Bob is part of a long tradition. What is different about Dylan is that his lyrics, as you say, stand up to any "modern" poetry.
    That was my point, that his lyrics are critically important. They have a quality that puts them into a higher art than most of songsmiths. Poetry and story telling to a meter has a long history, probably much, much older than Homeric traditions in the west. However the professor was.specifically putting a context to popular, music with Dylan by comparing it to bodies of work from mainstream literary figures. Dylan versus Dylan would be one curiosity to compare. Surname versus Christian name. :D
    I think Bob changed his name to Dylan after reading poems by Dylan Thomas
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,390
    bompington wrote:

    Typical straw man argument from someone with a chip on their shoulder. Draw up a definition of art and political engagement that deliberately excludes people like Dylan, then call Dylan an idiot for not meeting that definition.
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    mrfpb wrote:
    bompington wrote:

    Typical straw man argument from someone with a chip on their shoulder. Draw up a definition of art and political engagement that deliberately excludes people like Dylan, then call Dylan an idiot for not meeting that definition.
    gotta agree, was one of the most nonsensical, snobbish articles i've read for a while, all based around the lyrics of one song
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • Hmmm! Did you read as far as the section where he said the ancient Greeks had a word for the spirit he claimed Dylan had. That of the outsider. Outsider in politics and...yadayadayada.

    That word the Greeks had was idiot! He's not calling him an idiot in the modern sense but an older meaning. He's being pretentious! Look at me! I'm referring to ancient Greece so I must be intellectual and listened to,

    Sorry but he's a d1ck. I'm not intelligent in an artistic/literary way but even I can see he's being pretentious. He's saying Dylan deserved to win because he's looking into the world from the outside and telling us what he sees. Outsider art I think is his argument which he claims the Greeks saw as a negative if you cut yourself off from the age your in. Something like that (although I suspect it's not the Greeks he's meaning but the Athenians specifically. The Greeks outside of Athens had their own take on matters.
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    He's calling everybody an idiot, bob dylan, the nobel judges, anyone who's ever bought a dylan record
    A Western culture which has for decades prized idiocy above all other moral and aesthetic qualities and accomplishments has finally come clean. How does it feel, ah how does it feel? Long have we asked. Now we can answer. It feels, as idiots should, stupid.
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,390
    Dylan doesn't fit either of the definitions of idiot in the article.

    The folk revival movement was full of middle class people like Dylan, trying/pretending to be empathise with the dirt poor farmers and hobos of the Great Depression (like Woody Guthrie, who was middle class before the depression hit, but lost everything).

    The actual song "Like A Rolling Stone" discussed in the article is about some hip, middle class, folk revivalist hitting rock bottom, and asking them "How does it feel". It's a much more vicious pre-cursor of Pulp's "Common People." Dylan is holding up a pretty clear mirror to his generation and peers and exposing them as shallow. He had already looked into that mirror himself (My Back Pages) which probably prompted his decision to outrage the folk revivalists by taking to the stage with a leather jacket and rock and roll band at the Newport Folk Festival.
  • But the Ancient Greeks had another word for the rolling stone. That word is ‘idiot’. An idiot, according to the Ancient Greeks, is someone who stands aside from the political and cultural spheres, who cuts themselves off from critical participation in the world.

    The paragraph before that puts it in context. He'd been mentioning Greek Homeric tradition earlier and the above quote puts it into context. Greek word for someone stands outside of mainstream is called an idiot according to the writer. The paragraph you quoted said we're all idiots in that ancient Greek sense of being outsider looking in.

    I hope you spot the ancient Greek thread woven through the blog piece pulled together in the penultimate paragraph with the last, easily over-emphasised paragrap. In this he's not saying we're all looking in to the world from outside.I think Dylan was the outsider in his day.

    He's still a pretentious [email protected] though.
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,687
    The writer says: ". . . we can apprehend with hideous clarity the easy self-satisfaction of the protestor . . ."

    To base any assessment of Dylan solely on his protest songs (or even just one song of thousands) is ridiculous. All the more so as the person in question claims to be a writer by profession.

    This would be akin to saying that Shakespeare was a writer of sonnets, Van Gogh a painter of flowers or Bach a composer of minuets. All technically true of course but way, way wide of the mark by which any of them should or can reasonably be judged.

    The article is at best poorly researched and at worst has a jealous intention to belittle a writer who has achieved infinitely more than his pretentious bull could or would ever deserve to.

    The writers name, in case you missed it, is Guy Dammann. If I'm around in 40 years, I'll make a point of checking how much critical acclaim he has earned.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,032
    It's clearly a dangerous thing to earn the wrath of the devotees of St Bob :?
  • I'm one of them, I just don't see one pretentious writer as having any effect on Dylan's reputation or body of work. His live performances right now would do more damage.

    Saw the bit on the end of newsnight last night showing clips of what has been called Oldstock on account of the average age of the performers being 73 apparently (or some similarly high figure). Tickets from £115-several thousand. It showed a clip of Dylan with cracked and broken voice sat behind a piano. Plus the Who ironically singing about dying before they get old. :lol:
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    I'm one of them, I just don't see one pretentious writer as having any effect on Dylan's reputation or body of work. His live performances right now would do more damage.

    Yup, critics criticise, it's all they've got in their sad armoury, the pre-curser to trolls.
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
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