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In Reply to: RE: Bob Dylan Nobel Prize in Literature Lecture ... something unexpected/something incredible, posted by bjh on June 05, 2017 at 22:04:47
Poetry is literature!
He asked the same question when he first received the prize.
Dylan has written some interesting lyrics.
Maybe a line or two qualifies as poetry but most of it is obtuse story telling.
So I will be asked, "what is poetry?" - like pornography you know it when you read it, in this case. With a nod to Justice Potter Stewart ...
I think giving the prize to Dylan shows how fatuous the awards have become.
It is obvious I am not a fan. Dylan is an important music figure but when awards that started out as a vehicle for bringing the best practitioners of a discipline recognition it is disconcerting when they "recognize" someone almost everyone in the world knows and in this case a tenuous relationship to the discipline.
Lou Reed is/was far better as a poet working as a rock lyricist. Still I would cringe if he was given a Nobel Prize.
Another analogy: college radio stations used to play music no one else played - NPR stations used to play orchestral/serious music - now they both try to compete with the commercial stations which is just wrong in my opinionated view. But then, that's diversity! You know the kind of diversity that feels a whole lot like uniformity.
Interesting post, and many will agree with you.
I am and have been a Dylan fanatic since childhood, and to me he is far more gifted than Lou Reed. Just a matter of opinion.
BTW, let's not forget Dylan was as shocked and, let's say, perturbed, as anyone when the prize was announced!
Sir Andrew Motion, the previous British Poet Laureate, many years before the Nobel citation, described Bob Dylan as the world's greatest living poet who is not a poet* (meaning that he is a poet though not conventionally described as one).
* I guess he meant poet writing in English.
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