Saturday, June 10, 2017

Dylan in Reflection on Literature and Song

Bob Dylan
Photo: William Claxton
Nobel Prize Organization

Dylan finally gave his Nobel Prize speech to the Nobel Committee, a speech that began with these words:
When I first received this Nobel Prize for Literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature. I wanted to reflect on it and see where the connection was. I'm going to try to articulate that to you. And most likely it will go in a roundabout way, but I hope what I say will be worthwhile and purposeful.
You can read the speech or listen to the audio - I did both - and you'll be surprised to hear (if you chose audio) that Dylan's voice is not the raspy instrument of song we've been listening to for the past 40-odd years. The voice Dylan chose to speak with was soft and deliberative. I was surprised. But I was even more astonished when he revealed three works of literature that had influenced his songwriting:
Specific books that have stuck with me ever since I read them way back in grammar school - I want to tell you about three of them: Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front and The Odyssey.
And he summarizes the three brilliantly - those books are now in my memory far more clearly than even after I had just read them myself. I still don't think Dylan deserved the Nobel Prize for Literature, but he has done well with this interesting talk on the relation of his songs to literature.

But grammar school? Is he putting us on?

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2 Comments:

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Bienvenido Bones Banez, Jr. said...

Bob said, something never change, 400 years. maybe Epicurean way, let us enjoy the opportunity... the answer my friend is blowing in the wind. . .

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

"It ain't dark yet, but it's getting there."

Jeffery Hodges

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