It is about 2 weeks since we heard that the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to iconic American singer songwriter Robert Zimmerman – also known as Bob Dylan.
However, with his invitation still blowin’ in the wind and news yesterday that at least one member of the Swedish Academy that presents the award considers Dylan’s silence as “rude and arrogant”, his name is still very much in the news (see today’s article in the New York Times).
We did a quick opinion poll in the office asking how people felt when they heard the news – bearing in mind that not all of Dylan’s words exist in translation:
Stéphanie: I heard, since my early childhood the music of Bob Dylan. He deserves this prize because his music is not only lyrics and music; it is poetry and literature. Also, he stood up and spoke out on behalf of the civil rights movement.
My favourite song is “Hurricane”, he wrote it for an Afro-American, world champion boxer, who was locked up for murder while he was innocent.
Robin: Congratulations to Bob Dylan for the Nobel Prize in Literature! I grew up on him… my dad’s favourite, those old LPs… got to have the grainy sound! A great acknowledgement of the importance of songwriting for capturing the world and inspiring us to be better!
Jonathan: As a decades’ long fan it’s great to seem him honoured in this way. When I heard I had a drink in his honour while listening to his very own ‘Drinking’ podcast / playlist and shed a tear listening to ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’ which he wrote at the ripe old age of 21.
Melissa: I don’t know Bob Dylan’s music and lyrics enough to be able to make a judgment… I am sorry!
- Reuters: The $900,000 question behind Bob Dylan’s Nobel prize
- The Guardian: ‘Dylan towers over everyone’ – Salman Rushdie, Kate Tempest and more pay tribute to Bob Dylan
- New York Times: The Meaning of Bob Dylan’s Silence
- CEJI’s advocacy work
p.s. the title of this post comes from the Dylan track ‘The Groom’s Still Waiting At The Altar’