The good news is that Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The bad news is that the Nobel Prize for Literature
went to Bob Dylan. Good because it gives an American the prize after a long wait for one of our own writers to be acknowledged. Bad because I have a difficult time thinking of Dylan as a writer as we normally think of them --poet, novelist, essayist, playwright .Stephen Metcalf, writing in Slate, argues that Dylan, despite the conspicuous profundity of his innovations and the global, generation spanning reach of his influence, did not deserve the Prize because Dylan is not a man of literature, but a rather a songwriter, a lyricist, not a poet. I wrote long and agitated on topic in 2007, which you can read at length here .To summarize ,Dylan is a not a poet, but a songwriter who writes lyrics, an art now distinct from poetry which he has taken apart and reconfigured and put back together as no one else has done. Yes, I realize many will make the argument are connected in past ages, but that there has been a split between what's done in song and what is done on the page quite a while ago and Dylan , for all his revolutionizing, did not bring poets back from under the shadow of Whitman. What Dylan lacks a proper category and here, I think, the Nobel folks shoe horn him into a classification that is and will remain an awkward fit.
Bob Dylan is a very rich and very, very famous International Rock Star and his being given the highest literary award
This is like a sports statistic with an asterisk after the name. It could be