- 27 Oct 16
The decision of the Nobel Committee to award the Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan had some culture snobs frothing at the mouth. Even Bob doesn’t seem to know what to make of it all.
Trust old Bob to throw a spanner in the works. Don’t get me wrong: the announcement that a certain Mr. Robert Zimmerman was to be the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature was bound to cause controversy without any help from the man himself. And it did.
Newspapers and radio programmes immediately set about finding people who would have a good whinge, in print or on air, about the accolade being given to a lowly song and dance man. And there were loads of willing mouthpieces.
One line peddled by the “How Could They?” faction was that songwriting just isn’t literature, in pretty much the same way that it just isn’t cricket – and that to suggest that it is amounts to an insult to all of the great writers out there, and not so out there too, who work away assiduously at their craft, often for little or no return – and without the crucial help of a backing band that makes Bob’s art the equivalent of humming along while you take a walk in the park.