Gransnet forums

Culture/Arts

Bob Dylan

(32 Posts)
annodomini Thu 13-Oct-16 12:47:47

Has won the Nobel Prize for Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

I once had a mature student who averred that Dylan was a great poet but I must admit he didn't convince me. But was I wrong?

grannyactivist Thu 13-Oct-16 16:15:53

I was very pleased to see this anno - I like to think of 'literature' as being not only the written word; 'performance' poetry and song lyrics are literature with an added dimension. Dylan has a way of rhyming and putting together refrains that when sung are really very good.

rosesarered Thu 13-Oct-16 16:26:15

I agree grannyact his lyrics are very Dylan Thomas like.

rosesarered Thu 13-Oct-16 16:26:43

Which is maybe why he chose the name Dylan.

Ana Thu 13-Oct-16 16:26:47

There's another thread about this!

Luckygirl Sat 22-Oct-16 13:10:44

Can't find the other thread - but what a pillock he is just to ignore the prize. That's what comes of awarding it to someone who is not a poet. I like his songs, but he is not Nobel material. Silly rude man. If he objects to the prize per se, then he should say so, giving his reasons - that's fine - others who really did deserve the prize have done this. But simply to ignore it is just plain bad manners.

JessM Sat 22-Oct-16 14:09:05

I'm not convinced. I invite you to read some famous lyrics by the elusive one, as if they were a poem:

Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
People call say 'beware doll, you're bound to fall'
You thought they were all kidding you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal
How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone
Ahh you've gone to the finest schools, alright Miss Lonely
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
Nobody's ever taught you how to live out on the street
And now you're gonna have to get used to it
You say you never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He's not selling any alibis

Now compare to another great singer-songwriter

Blue, songs are like tattoos
You know I've been to sea before
Crown and anchor me
Or let me sail away
Hey Blue, there is a song for you
Ink on a pin
Underneath the skin
An empty space to fill in
Well there's so many sinking now
You've got to keep thinking
You can make it through these waves
Acid, booze, and ass
Needles, guns, and grass
Lots of laughs, lots of laughs
Everybody's saying that hell's the hippest way to go
Well I don't think so
But I'm gonna take a look around it though
Blue, I love you
Blue, here is a shell for you
Inside you'll hear a sigh
A foggy lullaby
There is your song from me

And tell me which is the better poet? By a mile?

Ginny42 Sat 22-Oct-16 14:40:09

I agree with you JessM, Joni Mitchell's lyrics are far more engaging and beautifully written, but I suppose there's always been an air of mystery around Dylan. It was rather more than a personal accolade, but also an acknowledgement that a musician and song writer could be judged worthy of such an award and would open the gates for future winners possibly Joni.

Which is why it's so sad that he's not acknowledged this honour even to turn it down. To treat being honoured among the greats in this way is boorish and rude, so perhaps they got it wrong after all.

I can appreciate how some have no wish to be honoured, e.g. Einstein, but he could have turned it down more graciously. Apparently he was performing in Vegas and never mentioned it.

JessM Sat 22-Oct-16 15:55:45

Some people have issues with the Peace Prize - in that it has been given to some not-very-peaceful characters in the past. Just rude not to surface and say thanks but no thanks.

phoenix Sat 22-Oct-16 18:35:32

Although I can to a point see why he has been awarded the prize for literature, I think his behaviour since the award was announced has been awful, bloody rude, churlish, add what you like!

IMO he deserves a damn good slap round the chops with a wet cod, plus a jolly good clip round the ear.

Ana Sat 22-Oct-16 18:41:30

Perhaps they should offer these Nobel Prizes privately first, and if the proposed recipient shows no interest or refuses it then it's offered to the next choice...

Sheilasue Sun 23-Oct-16 09:39:34

Bob of course he set the world on fire

Anya Sun 23-Oct-16 09:47:16

Good thinking Ana

wot Sun 23-Oct-16 09:49:22

Phoenix, ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

radicalnan Sun 23-Oct-16 10:01:14

He is a genius !!! However, he is who he is, and to expect him to behave like everyone else is just daft. I remember the flack he got when he appeared at Live Aid and mentioned the plight of dirt bowl farmers in America, people were furious that he saw the plight of the poor in his own land, when all the other celebs were focusing on Africa.

Not everyone wants an award, or to be part of that artificial recognition circuit that values some 'genius more than others. I don't know what he thinks but I do know that his music has been with me in my darkest hours and taught me more about poverty, racism etc than anyone else did when I was very young, not to mention the pain of love and loss.

foxie Sun 23-Oct-16 10:11:38

This award brings the whole Nobel Prize into disrepute. When I heard who it had been awarded too my reaction, they must be kidding aren't they??

marionk Sun 23-Oct-16 10:19:44

He has always been pretty reclusive even in his heyday, but I do feel some sort of reaction is necessary. Whether or not you like his poetry/music he was a voice of his time and what he says resonates deeply for a generation. I think that there are a few others out there who have been given this accolade for dubious services to mankind but at least Dylan harms no one.

missdeke Sun 23-Oct-16 10:31:51

Think maybe you are being a bit unfair JessM, how about this one.

"Masters Of War"

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion'
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.

Definitely poetry!

Luckygirl Sun 23-Oct-16 10:43:27

He is indeed within his rights to refuse the award, and,as I said, many a better person has done so (e.g. Jean-Paul Sartre. What I find rude and offensive is simply ignoring it. Can we excuse that on the grounds of "artistic temperament" or is he just being plain silly.

I agree that Masters of War has brilliant lyrics, but so do many others - e.g. Buffy Sainte-Marie and Universal Soldier, and just about anything by W.S.Gilbert. But they are not in the Nobel prize bracket in my opinion.

a1icia Sun 23-Oct-16 11:08:28

Art of all kinds is subjective. I find it baffling that there is a Nobel prize for literature since it boils down to the opinions of the judges. What moves you may not move me. What inspires me may not inspire you. There is a terrible snobbery about "literature", and what constitutes it, to my mind. It's rather like the emperor's new clothes.

JessM Sun 23-Oct-16 12:34:11

Poetry, with a message, but nothing clever or original there. No clever metaphors or new ways of looking at the issue.
But I am open to be convinced otherwise by other examples.

librarylady Sun 23-Oct-16 12:44:11

I did not know about Dylan 'ignoring' the award.

Have we forgotten what the Nobel Prizes are founded on?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Nobel

Perhaps it was tactless to offer the award to Bob Dylan in the first place - the piece quoted above could have been referencing Alfred Nobel directly...

Craftycat Sun 23-Oct-16 13:08:04

Sorry- for me the man is a genius & he will acknowledge the prize in his own time.
I spent half my teens listening to his lyrics & they still move me.

There is no one to compare- except maybe Bowie.

Legs55 Sun 23-Oct-16 13:30:18

Alfred Nobel bequeathed his fortune to found the Nobel Prizes after being condemned for profiting from the sale of arms.

I have no issue with Bob Dylan receiving the Prize for Literature & was not aware that he is "ignoring" it

I do have issues with some of the recipients of the Peace Prize but who am I to judge hmm

It is all subjective, decisions of others may not coincide with our views confused

Diddy1 Sun 23-Oct-16 13:42:33

If he cant accept, thank, and come to the Nobel prize giving, then he isnt worthy of this great honour.
I live in Sweden, and people here are disgusted with his behaviour, I hope he doesnt come, I dont think he is welcome any more.