October 5, 2011

"Bob Dylan is favored to win Nobel Prize in literature."

"The British betting house has Dylan as the top possibility, running at 5-to-1 odds, ahead of Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, who is in second place, and Syrian poet Adonis in third."

Crazy! I love Bob Dylan, but I don't think the Nobel Prize makes sense. It's like when they gave the Peace Prize to Obama. It feels like they're just trying to get a celebrity to visit the European Northland.


America's Politico said...

H. Murakami is a brilliant, just brilliant author. If he gets it, then all readers will be pleased. Dylan is yesterday-news. In fact, he was not in even that good.

Read "After dark" and witness a true literary device.

Know about the great author at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haruki_Murakami.

Quayle said...
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David said...

I would vote for the Adonis guy, just to give all the other really bad poets a ray of hope.

Maybe it's better in the original Arabic.

Joanna said...

Sounds to me like a way to highlight someone associated with the 60s protests.

Fred4Pres said...

Steve Jobs just passed away.

David said...

Steve Jobs is dead!

rhhardin said...

Short retirement.

Curious George said...

"It feels like they're just trying to get a celebrity to visit the European Northland."

Maybe they just want some good weed.

rhhardin said...

For most, retirement looks like this.

Coketown said...

I'm sure Ann will have a post about Steve Jobs deep-sixing very soon. Let's stay on topic here.

What I think is that they should add a category for music. Or something. Maybe change literature to art in general. Various media have risen to prominence since the Literature prize was established. Music, film, television--all expressive forms that are far more influential than literature today.

Amartel said...

Well, yeah! Kind of like when they gave Obama the Nobel. He's soooo dreamy!

rcocean said...

If Dylan wins it will just prove what most people think namely the Nobel Prize Literature is a joke.

No NP's for Pound, Frost, Thomas, Greene, Waugh, Twain, Conrad, T Williams, Nabokov, Updike, Orwell, Joyce, Lawrence, Tolkien, Maugham, James, Baldwin, Dreiser, Dos Passos, Fitzgerald, Wharton, Miller, Wilder, London, Auden, Robinson, or Cummings.

I guess if can give it to Pinter, Pearl Buck, Brodsky, Lessing, and Toni Morrison; why not Dylan?

MadisonMan said...

Can a Nobel for Neil Young be far behind?

How can Dylan win before Paul McCartney?

Peano said...

First Obama for "peace," and now Dylan for "literature." Who could be surprised? This will complete the logical progression that turns the Nobel Prize into a witless joke.

Quayle said...

Coketown, you're right. I deleted above.

Dylan is a genius with words.

But it does seem a little forced.

Perhaps the institute is trying to salvage their reputation and standing after giving the Peace Prize to a four-war president.

Coketown said...

@rcocean: Could you please remove Ezra Pound from that list? He was a lightweight, to be commended more for his contributions as a talent agent than for his literary output.

edutcher said...

My familiarity with Dylan is from the early 60s and unless he got that much better with age (hey, Louis L'Amour did), I just can't see it.

But then Carter and Zero have 'em, so...

Cedarford said...

Pounds "Cantos" make him worthy of inclusion.

To me "popularity" should not be a bar to a Nobel in Literature. Dickens sold pulp serials for a penny a sentence to newspapers. Half the American "greats" churned through the Hollywood scriptwriter's Guild at one time or another.

Both Dylan and Murakami are well respected, AND popular. But Murakami is the far stronger choice, based on his brilliant body of work in novels and his innovations.

Patrick said...

In Apple's announcement that Steve Jobs died, they said "the world is immeasurably better because of him."

I think that is true. Maybe not everyone, but certainly lots of people, myself included, never thought they'd have such easy access to so much technology.

Beldar said...

I'm thinking Phil Collins instead. "Su-su-sudio" alone is better than everything Bob Dylan ever quote-sang-unquote.

rcocean said...


People like Frost, TS Eliot, and Hemingway would disagree. His Cantos aren't my cup of tea but...

MadisonMan said...

In Apple's announcement that Steve Jobs died, they said "the world is immeasurably better because of him."

Sure, but did he win a Nobel?

Whatever Works said...

Ann -- Off topic, but check this out and see if it's blog-worthy?
Dianne Feinstein tried to best Scalia at today's Senate Judiciary hearing and it kinda backfired. I was almost in tears laughing so hard.
(I haven't seen anyone else post about this yet, possibly because I'm the only nerd out there who watched this thing beginning to end.)

Nora said...

I have been wondering why some great authors (and there are really not that many all together) are passed for Nobel and Murakami was one of them (Naipal was on this list once too). So I'll be really upset if he looses to Dylan.

Having said that, I wonder why I still care about to whom Nobel is awarded.

ricpic said...

Dylan's Lament


Blow It All Up, Mr. Nobel, My Youth Is Gone

I can't fit in my stovepipe jeans no more.
I can't fit in my stovepipe jeans no more.
Seems like only yesterday I could. I'm sure
No prize can't fix that. What good's it for?

Sixty Grit said...
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traditionalguy said...

Bob wrote literature and sang the words too.

It will be nice to see a Christian writer and singer win the award.

Jose_K said...

The chronicle of the bird..
Kafka in the shore
Sputnik, mon amour (On the road)
Norwegian woods (The magic mountain plus Catcher in the Rye plus On the road)
South of the boarder , east of the sun ( Casablanca)
The end of the world and another country of marvels ( Neuromancer, 1984 )
I did not like 1Q84 ( millenium plus 1984)
Most work are like Ulysses , barely inspired by western novels) In Norwegian Woods ,the japanese Haulden Caufield is reading The Magic Mountain, he does not believe in the quality of the schoolar system since he does not expect anyone to recognize it.He was the owner of a jazz caffe and usually jazz and beatnik literature is present.
Like Salinger he retired from (japanese ) public scene.

Jose_K said...

No NP's for Pound, Frost, Thomas
Neither Borges.
Macartney everybody knows that the best songs were written by John.
I don share the oppinion but that would be said.
Music is the original form of literature. Poetry was sung. they don call it Lyrics for nothing.
The Illiad began: sing Oh Muses.
Musicians are the modern trouvadors

To me "popularity.. Hemingway was unpopular? Or Juan Ramon Jimenez?( Perhaps in the USA but not in Europe)OrGarcia Marquez?
Usually right wing writters are totally ignored while subpar left winger win it.
Vargas Losa has gone to the center left since winning.
Borges was ignored for praising Pinochet while Garcia Marquez was awarded the Nobel for being Castro´s friend
beside my favorite: Murakami . Another worthy writters:Amis, MacEwan, Kadare,Kandra, Houllembeq
For politics it wont surpsise me: Carlos Fuentes , Amos Oz

Jose_K said...
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Peano said...

Sixty Grit said... Dylan is as deserving as Obama. Maybe more so.

A bedbug is as big as a chigger. Maybe more so.

Jose_K said...

VS Naipaul , the best english writter alive was ignored for his criticism of tercermundism.
The secretary of the comitte once vowed that Vargas Llosa would never been awarded the prize for his defense of free market economy and his criticism of Castro.MVL was a fellow traveler until the Padilla case. The cuban equivalent of the Moscu trials
Jorge Edwars will be ignored also. he was expelled from Cuba by Castro and from Chile by Pinochet. He worked with the rapist( In Confieso que he vivido , he tells the history of him raping a parhia) and Stalin admirer , Neruda.
10/5/11 8:18 PM

Sixty Grit said...
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yashu said...

Bob Dylan wouldn't be the worst recipient of the Nobel for Lit. Actually, in theory, it's not a terrible choice; but in reality, it would just seem like an awful gimmick.

Murakami's a much better choice. And it would be, refreshingly, about literature-- not some clumsy message about an author's political significance or political bona fides (always for the left, of course, as Jose K points out).

But I'm with Nora: who still cares about the Nobel Prize (besides the ones devoted to the sciences)? With Obama (the last straw), they've become a joke. I care as much about them as the Oscars.

Luke Lea said...

Here. Here. I disagree. It would not be inappropriate. For better or worse he was the poet of his (my, your?) generation. The words, his gift for the American vernacular, was at the heart of his genius, even as the melodies themselves were cobbled from the great storehouse of American vernacular music.

Chip Ahoy said...

They're preparing the way for ABBA.

buwaya said...

Samuel Eliot Morison would have been a far better choice than Toni Morrison.

"United State Naval Operations in World War II" is a prose Iliad. The best literature to come out of WWII.

Henry said...

I'd give him the peace prize myself.

Seriously, why hasn't a writer won that stupid prize?

Roux said...

The Nobel Prize is a joke.... AlGore and Barry Obama pretty much prove that.

traditionalguy said...

Buwaya is correct about the prose of Samuel Elliott Morrison's 19 volume work on Naval operations in WWII as deserving a NP. His history of Christopher Columbus is also very impressive literature.

As for Bob Dylan (nee Zimmerman) his work is eternally good. I believe that he is the latest of the Hebrew Prophets. He has written things from a special perspective all of his life.

John Steinbeck got his NP for a lifetime of superior creativity with the English language, and Bob Dylan should get his too.

Try not to hate Dylan for being a mediocre singer...it was the lyrics he wrote that opens minds all the way through, including his Christian album done while a middle age man listening to words given by the Spirit of Truth.

EDH said...

...Adonis in third.

Bullshit. I'm betting on the late, great Adorable Adrian Adonis.

I liked the Adorable One, even during his gender-bender phase.

Alan said...

Do you need a weatherman to know which way the Nobel wind blows?

Mark Nielsen said...

Chip Ahoy: "They're preparing the way for ABBA."

Still laughing about that one.

Nora said...

There is one interesting story on this year chemistry Nobel winner Danny Shechtman. I don't expect it to be covered much - he got the prize for dicovery that was rejected at the beginning by scientific establishment, even by some previous Nobel winner/s, because it went against what was at the time a scientific consensus on what materials/crystal structures exist in nature.
Here he tells the story himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZRTzOMHQ4s the story of discovery @ 4:05 and of controversy @ 6:05.
So it's interesting to see the media coverage of this prize, especially in view of its latest love affair with consesus.

Sheepman said...
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J said...

wow Coketown dropping the names of heavies. Of course he hasn't read any of them.

Nyet to Zimmerman. give it to..Pynchon (who dat say the Alttards and sockpuppet).

Alt-tards might win a prize ..say for like most obnoxious, colloquial writing online

Sheepman said...



J said...

mumble away, white trash sockpuppet.

Dylan's had more than enough accolades.

Dhiraj said...

The artist, as he enters eighth decade of life, has been described aptly as “the Methuselah of righteous cool” but he has been much more, a master of disdain now, a bard of decay only to surprise as a voice of longing for romance later. The elderly statesman of music has collided with forms ranging from folk to glam rock and many in between and has left them richer, altered forever.