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Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature - The Times they are a Changing?

Tadhg Gaelach

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I'm a big fan of Bob Dylan. There's no doubt that in the world of rock he stands head and shoulders above the rest - particularly in terms of intellectual content. So half of me is happy that he has been given such prestigious recognition. But, at the same time, no matter how good the lyrics of a pop song or rock song are - are they really literature?

Now, the various Nobel Prizes have certainly become a debased currency in recent times. Imagine a war monger and war criminal like Obama being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace - and he got it when he had barely even started his presidency. What was the point of giving someone a prize before they had even started the race?

Apart from that, the worrying point is that our Western culture is in terminal decline. In the Anglosphere there is an absolute suspicion and even hatred of anything intellectual. Everything must be brought down to the lowest common denominator - so that even an uneducated gobshite like Michael O'Leary is being quoted as some kind of authority.

Despite how good Dylan's lyrics may be, is this a further sign of the decline of Western civilization? Or am I just tangled up in blue?
 

TheWexfordInn

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I will agree that Dylan has been a great lyricist and a great Poet of our times. But my view of him is coloured by the one time I went to see him play live around ten years ago.
He is a crap live performer, he has no stage presence, no engagement with the audience, I came out of that concert as less of a fan of him than when I went in. I actually wish I hadn't gone, if I hadn't gone I would still be a major fan of his whereas having gone I'm less so. Tribute Dylan acts put on a better show than Dylan.
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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I think another point is that working as a writer is usually a very badly paid job. The Nobel Prize made a great difference to the material lives of the likes of W.B. Yeats and Samuel Beckett, and allowed them to live their later lives without having to fear dying in poverty. Obviously Bob Dylan didn't need any money. I think this is a real consideration when giving out prizes like this.
 

eamo

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He doesn't need the money but still his never ending tour continues. Money is not his motivator. He is a driven artist and will be making music and writing lyrics 'till he drops.


Jokerman. Great comment on our times. A great Dylan track put together with great images :

 

mossyman

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Good OP. I think you are right that Nobel prizes have become debased by recent decisions. However, I think this was the right one. The man is a genuis, his lyrics are beautiful.
 

FairstoodtheWind

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the Nobel Committee were considering the White Helmets for the peace prize. That says it all for Nobel committee these days.

Still love Bob's 70's albums (Desire, Blood on the Tracks, Steet Legal.)
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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Good OP. I think you are right that Nobel prizes have become debased by recent decisions. However, I think this was the right one. The man is a genuis, his lyrics are beautiful.

Yes, I agree he is a brilliant song writer. It's amazing that he was more or less written off in the 1980s, but if you go back and listen to what he was doing at that time it stands the test of time far better than the stuff the "in crowd" were doing. And his recent material is outstanding. In fact I'd rather listen to it than a lot of his early stuff (though Blond on Blond is my favourite).

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mns9VeRguys
 

gurdiev

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I actually thought Bob was dead, strange how things surprise you.

looked like he'd been exhumed when they pinned the medal on him. Wondered what the shades were hiding .
 
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