Bob Dylan wins Nobel for literature

Discussion in 'Comedy & Tragedy' started by AdamSmith, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. AdamSmith

    AdamSmith Count de Crisco

    “...for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

    In her citation, Sara Danils said that though the choice might seem surprising, “if you look far back, 5000 years, you discover Homer and Sappho. They wrote poetic texts which were meant to be performed, and it’s the same way for Bob Dylan. We still read Homer and Sappho, and we enjoy it.”

    A great recognition of one of the great American artists in our history.

    The best of his lyrics (that includes many of them) are up there within a hair of the best of Whitman and Dickinson, for me, the highest praise I could have. Before even adding in his musical genius.

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  2. AdamSmith

    AdamSmith Count de Crisco

  3. AdamSmith

    AdamSmith Count de Crisco

    Previous US Nobel laureates in literature

    Sinclair Lewis, 1930
    Eugene Gladstone O’Neill, 1936
    Pearl Buck, 1938
    TS Eliot, 1948
    William Faulkner, 1949
    Ernest Miller Hemingway, 1954
    John Steinbeck, 1962
    Toni Morrison, 1993
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  4. bigvalboy

    bigvalboy Regent

    Great post Adam Smith. This is significant...Two thumbs up.
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  5. WilliamM

    WilliamM Regent


    I saw Joan Baez first (1963) and many times since, but Bob Dylan richly deserves the Novel Prize for Literature. When Dylan was at his best in concert, nobody else came close. His lyrics and music spoke to several generations, still now.

    Who would have imaged this wonderful day in the early 1960s?

    Thank you, Stockholm.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
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  6. purplekow

    purplekow Regent

    I prefer Paul Simon's word artistry, but one cannot dispute the influence Dylan's music has had on many of the finest musicians.
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  7. AdamSmith

    AdamSmith Count de Crisco

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  8. AdamSmith

    AdamSmith Count de Crisco

    In a college seminar on Popular Iconography in Contemporary American Culture, the professor recalled that the great Enlightenment thinker Vico posited that cultures evolve through three stages: gods, then heroes, then mortals.

    Applying that to the evolution of rock and roll, the prof observed that its gods could be said to be Chuck Berry and Elvis. Then its heroes were the Beatles, the Stones, and Dylan. Then several generations of mortals.
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  9. Charlie

    Charlie Peer

    It is about time that Literature was recognized as more than just novels, poetry and plays. Now it's time to recognize some great non-fiction writers. In their day, writers like Boswell, Gibbon and Carlyle were recognized as literary masters, although they wrote mostly biography, criticism and history.
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  10. body2body

    body2body Baron

    Don't forget Saul Bellow 1976.
    The BBC's Arts Editor said that this award is a game changer, a turn away from the esoteric, and towards an artist with worldwide influence and recognition.
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  11. AdamSmith

    AdamSmith Count de Crisco

    Thank you!

    The Guardian reporter failed me there. :oops:
  12. WilliamM

    WilliamM Regent

    Joan Baez sings Dylan


    A good song for today!
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  13. Georgie

    Georgie Newbie

    ...or they've given up on novelists...
  14. ArVaGuy

    ArVaGuy Earl

    This is wonderful news. Maybe even long overdue.
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  15. 9 only? I think it's 14 now with Bob Dylan but I don't know if all of them were born the in US or won the award after immigrating and becoming citizens.

    American Nobel Laureates in Literature


    930 – Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) American writer. Received the 1930 Nobel Prize for Literature “for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters.”

    1936 – Eugene Gladstone O’Neill (1888-1953) American writer. Eugene O’Neill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936, and Pulitzer Prizes for four of his plays: Beyond the Horizon (1920); Anna Christie (1922); Strange Interlude (1928); and Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1957). He won the Nobel Prize in Literature “for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy.”

    1938 – Pearl Buck (1892-1973) Pearl Buck, seudonym for Pearl Walsh née Sydenstricker. American writer. Received the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces.”resented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight.”

    1948 – Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) British/American writer. T.S. Eliot received the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.”


    949 – William Faulkner (1897-1962)
    American writer. Received the 1949 Nobel in Literature “for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.”


    954 – Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899-1961)
    American writer. Brevity was his specialty. Received the 1954 Nobel in Literature “for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style.”


    1962 – John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
    American writer. Received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception.”


    1976 – Saul Bellow (1915-2005)
    American writer. Received the 1976 Nobel Prize for Literature “for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.”


    1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991)
    Polish/American writer. Received the 1978 Nobel Prize for Literature “for his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life.”


    1980 – Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004)
    Polish/American writer. Received the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature for voicing “man’s exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts.”


    1987 – Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996)
    Russian/American writer. Received the 1987 Nobel Prize for Literature “for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity.”


    1992 – Derek Walcott (1930- ) Saint Lucian/American writer. Derek Walcott received the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature “for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment.”


    1993 – Toni Morrison (1931- ) American writer. Received the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature for “novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import,” giving “life to an essential aspect of American reality.”
  16. mike carey

    mike carey Duke

    TS Elliot was born in St Louis but had renounced his US citizenship before he was awarded the prize. He was a British subject at the time.
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  17. Charlie

    Charlie Peer

    Czeslaw Milosz did become an American citizen ten years before he won the Nobel, but he was middle-aged when he first defected to the US, and after the fall of the Communist regime, he went back to Poland and spent much of his time there. Almost everything he wrote was in Polish.

    Derek Walcott was never an American citizen. His only connection with the US was some teaching at American schools, but he did much more of his teaching in England and Canada.

    Isaac Bashevis Singer did emigrate from Poland to the US when he was 33, but he continued to write all his works in Yiddish, as he had in Poland.

    Joseph Brodsky's Nobel was awarded mostly for the work he had written in Russian before coming to the US, but he did become an American citizen, and did eventually become the American Poet Laureate.
  18. Charlie

    Charlie Peer

    If one includes anyone who was an American citizen, one would have to include Thomas Mann, even though he won his Nobel for Literature several years before he emigrated to California, where he became a citizen in 1940.

    There is also the case of Winston Churchill, who was made an honorary citizen of the US in 1963, ten years after he won the Nobel for Literature in 1953, a rare case of a winner whose works were non-fiction (although professional historians might question that statement).
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  19. body2body

    body2body Baron

    Given that the committee has opened the field, perhaps we will see a film maker one day like Godard, Scorsese, Ang Lee, Werner Herzog. Alas this broadening of the definition of literature came too late for the Genius of Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffaut, or Akira Kurosawa.
  20. WilliamM

    WilliamM Regent

    Thomas Mann's citation in the Nobel Museum in Stockholm concentrates on "Buddenbrooks" and "The Magic Mountain" as well as his short stories and novella. As you write, he was still a European when he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Mann and his wife, Katia, spent their last years in Switzerland. There is also a museum in Oslo (Nobel Peace Prize).

    Katia lived in Switzerland until she died at age 96 in 1980.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
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