Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature 2016 | INFJ Forum

Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature 2016

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  1. Gaze

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    Long overdue?



    Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature

    Reuters 47 minutes ago

    • [​IMG]
    STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," the Swedish Academy said on Thursday in awarding the 8 million Swedish crown ($927,740) prize.

    Literature was the last of this year's Nobel prizes to be awarded. The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.

    (Reporting by Mia Shanley, Daniel Dickson and Simon Johnson; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/bob-dylan-wins-nobel-prize-literature-110558221.html
     
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  2. OP
    Gaze

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    Bob Dylan: “I’m a poet, and I know it”

    In 2004, a Newsweek magazine article called Bob Dylan “the most influential cultural figure now alive," and with good reason. He has released more than forty albums in the last four decades, and created some of the most memorable anthems of the twentieth century, classics such as “The Times They Are A-Changin," “Like a Rolling Stone," and “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

    While Dylan’s place in the pantheon of American musicians is cemented, there is one question that has confounded music and literary critics for the entirety of Dylan’s career: Should Bob Dylan be considered a songwriter or a poet? Dylan was asked that very question at a press conference in 1965, when he famously said, “I think of myself more as a song-and-dance man.”

    The debate has raged on ever since, and even intensified in 2004, when Internet rumors swirled about Dylan’s nomination for a Nobel Prize in Literature, and five well-hyped books were released almost simultaneously: Dylan’s Visions of Sin, by Oxford professor of poetry Christopher Ricks, who makes the case for Dylan as a poet; Lyrics: 1962-2001, a collection of Dylan’s songs presented in printed form; Chronicles, the first volume of Dylan’s memoir; Keys to the Rain, a 724-page Bob Dylan encyclopedia; and Studio A, an anthology about Dylan by such esteemed writers as Allen Ginsberg, Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Moody, and Barry Hannah.

    Christopher Ricks, who has also penned books about T. S. Eliot and John Keats, argues that Dylan’s lyrics not only qualify as poetry, but that Dylan is among the finest poets of all time, on the same level as Milton, Keats, and Tennyson. He points to Dylan’s mastery of rhymes that are often startling and perfectly judged. For example, this pairing from “Idiot Wind," released in 1975:

    Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
    From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol

    The metaphorical relation between the head and the head of state, both of them two big domes, and the “idiot wind” blowing out of Washington, D.C., from the mouths of politicians, made this particular lyric the “great disillusioned national rhyme," according to Allen Ginsberg.

    “The case for denying Dylan the title of poet could not summarily, if at all, be made good by any open-minded close attention to the words and his ways with them," Ricks wrote in Dylan’s Visions of Sin. “The case would need to begin with his medium.”

    The problem many critics have with calling song lyrics poetry is that songs are only fully realized in performance. It takes the lyrics, music, and voice working in tandem to unpack the power of a song, whereas a poem ideally stands up by itself, on the page, controlling its own timing and internal music. Dylan’s lyrics, and most especially his creative rhyme-making, may only work, as critic Ian Hamilton has written, with “Bob’s barbed-wire tonsils in support.”

    It is indisputable, though, that Dylan has been influenced a great deal by poetry. He counts Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine alongside Woody Guthrie as his most important forebears. He took his stage name, Bob Dylan, from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (his real name is Robert Allen Zimmerman). He described himself once as a “sixties troubadour," and when he talks about songwriting, he can sometimes sound like a professor of literature: “I can create several orbits that travel and intersect each other and are set up in a metaphysical way.”

    His work has also veered purposefully into poetry. In 1966, he wrote a book of poems and prose calledTarantula. Many of the liner notes from his 1960s albums were written as epitaphs. And his songwriting is peppered with literary references. Consider, for example, these lyrics from “Desolation Row," released on 1965’s Highway 61 Revisited:

    Praise be to Nero’s Neptune
    The Titanic sails at dawn
    And everybody’s shouting
    “Which Side Are You On?”
    And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
    Fighting in the captain’s tower
    While calypso singers laugh at them
    And fishermen hold flowers

    Professor Ricks is not the only scholar who considers Dylan a great American poet. Dylan has been nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature every year since 1996, and the lyrics to his song “Mr. Tambourine Man” appeared in the Norton Introduction to Literature.

    So do his song lyrics qualify as poetry? Even Dylan gets the two genres confused sometimes. He once called Smokey Robinson his favorite poet, then later backpedaled and said it was Rimbaud. He has alternatingly avoided this question and mocked it, as in his song “I Shall Be Free No. 10”:

    Yippee! I’m a poet, and I know it
    Hope I don’t blow it

    However, the best, most straightforward answer may have appeared in the liner notes of his second album, 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, where Dylan said, simply: “Anything I can sing, I call a song. Anything I can’t sing, I call a poem.”

    https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/bob-dylan-im-poet-and-i-know-it
     
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  3. Asa

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    <3 Thank you for posting this. <3 <3 Bob Dylan.

    It is unusual that he won for lyrics, but it makes me happy. This is going to change how music and lyrics are viewed as an art form.

    My dad was a folkie and saw Dylan in coffee shops before he was famous. He said people cringed at Dylan's voice and left. Hahahaha. (He refused to go see Dylan in arenas decades later, which I fully understand.)
    Dylan was the background music of my childhood. (The Beatles, too - my mother's music.)
     
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  4. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    "Go 'way from my window, leave at your own chosen speed. I'm not the one you want babe, I'm not the one you need"

    Well deserved award imho, he's a poet.
     
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  5. Eventhorizon

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    To this day I cant understand anything he sings.
     
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  6. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Dominate with compassion...

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    This is good chicken ya'll!

    Every Grain of Sand - Bob Dylan

    In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
    When the pool of tears beneath my feet floods every newborn seed
    There's a dying voice within me reaching out somewhere
    Toiling in the danger and the morals of despair
    Don't have the inclination to look back on any mistake
    Like Cain, I now behold this chain of events that I must break
    In the fury of the moment I can see the master's hand
    In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand
    Oh, the flowers of indulgence and the weeds of yesteryear
    Like criminals, they have choked the breath of conscience and good cheer
    The sun beams down upon the steps of time to light the way
    To ease the pain of idleness and the memory of decay
    I gaze into the doorway of temptation's angry flame
    And every time I pass that way I'll always hear my name
    Then onward in my journey I come to understand
    That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand
    I have gone from rags to riches in the sorrow of the night
    In the violence of a summer's dream, in the chill of a wintry light
    In the bitter dance of loneliness fading into space
    In the broken mirror of innocence on each forgotten face
    I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
    Sometimes I turn, there's someone there, other times it's only me
    I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
    Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand
     
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  7. James

    James Infamy, infamy.. they've all got it infamy
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    @Milktoast Bandit - what a frickin beautiful song.. but then you already knew that. I am going to see my cousin on Saturday, and he is a massive Dylan fan, he goes to see every concert he does in the UK.
     
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  8. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Dominate with compassion...

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    Nice! I haven't seen him live. The closest I've come to a Dylan concert was when I used to drive around in my first car, smoking weed, listening to him on audio cassette. Yeah!!!
     
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  9. Eventhorizon

    Eventhorizon Permanently relocated
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    So what do Dylan fans do? Study the words before they listen to the music?
     
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  10. Asa

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    You grow accustomed to his voice and singing style, and after that you can understand.
    I don't remember not understanding Dylan because I've been listening to him since I was in the womb, but a lot of punk, metal, crust and grind is the same.
     
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  11. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Dominate with compassion...

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    You can make out every single word on all of his albums. His voice only became the caricature everyone knows in the late seventies-eighties. (Unless I'm wrong) Even then it was only like that live. I currently struggle to make out some words of his more recent stuff.

    If you separate the words from the music they would be just as good if not better. Give it a go.
     
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  12. just me

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  13. Milktoast Bandit

    Milktoast Bandit Dominate with compassion...

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    I found a solution for you to enjoy his words and not hear his voice! Use your own voice! You have to record it and post it on the forum though...

     
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  14. invisible

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    I have cds of his albums "Freewheelin Bob Dylan" and "Blonde on Blonde", here at my place we are just listening to them over some wine.

    I don't think he won for his lyrics only. The prize motivation acknowledges the song tradition, which is a form of composition. So I think the Nobel Foundation made it clear that his work is inseparable from its form - it's not lyrics only.

    I think he deserved to win it. I've read quite a bit of suggestion that he is not a poet. I think that's just the usual garbage from jealous minds desperate to get in on the action.
     
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  15. WonkyOracle

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    I met Irvine Welsh once and he seemed like a very nice guy, but I tried to read one of his novels called "Trainspotting" and found it illegible and boring. But I may try to read it again someday.
     
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  17. Tin Man

    Tin Man "a respectable amount of screaming"

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    I think this could be a good step forward. I'd like to see the day where nontraditional poets and writers are given more respect by mainstream awarding bodies. At the moment anything in the realm of sci-fi or fantasy or surrealist fiction has little to no chance of getting the recognition it deserves. Hopefully trends like Bob Dylan getting a Nobel prize for literature or Jackie Chan receiving an honorary Oscar are signs that we're moving away from such a narrow minded interpretation of art and artists.
     
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  18. WonkyOracle

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    You've just summed up his entire literary career. Ian Rankin is where it's at.
     
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  19. dang

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    Dylan didn't show up to receive his award. How ungrateful.
     
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    I can't really make sense of it either. It seems ungrateful to me too.
     
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