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MrCat

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016

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The Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced next week. Who do you want to win? Murakami finally? Kundera or maybe Atwood? Or maybe someone from USA. 

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I have to admit the Nobel Prize winner is always an author I have never heard of. So I am hoping that at least this year it will be an author who sounds familiar. :P

 

I have heard a lot of people say that Murakami should win the Prize. I do think he is very a good writer and would be happy if he did win, but I have no idea what the 'criteria' are so to speak. There are so many brilliant writers out there - how do you choose?

Edited by Angury

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Aaaaaaand the prize goes to... Bob Dylan? What? I thought I was reading The Onion at first but it turns out it's true...

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It's really weird. I was thinking: "Did he also write some awesome books I never heard of?", but no, just some poetry ages ago, and 1/3 of an autobiography. I'm all for giving out the price to more known authors then in the past, but that's kinda off. Songtexting is it's own genre to me, they have their own prices.

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There must be a poetry/song writing prize he could have won? I wouldn't mind so much if he was a higher profile figure in the literary world but he hasn't done much for a long time.

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I was surprised, but when I stopped to think about it thought it was appropriate.

 

Bob Dylan is a great lyricist, and if you remove the music (which I prefer not to do) we are talking (in my opinion) great modern poetry.

 

I was awash with songs from which to choose to showcase his lyrics for those who may not be familiar, but decided on this one, It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding (lyrics courtesy of bobdylan.com).

 

The Nobel should be far reaching and forward thinking, and should expand to include anyone who 'works' with language and words. 

 

Or, I may be talking utter nonsense, and am just a Dylan fan!  :D

 

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying

Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn
Suicide remarks are torn
From the fool’s gold mouthpiece the hollow horn
Plays wasted words, proves to warn
That he not busy being born is busy dying

Temptation’s page flies out the door
You follow, find yourself at war
Watch waterfalls of pity roar
You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover that you’d just be one more
Person crying

So don’t fear if you hear
A foreign sound to your ear
It’s alright, Ma, I’m only sighing

As some warn victory, some downfall
Private reasons great or small
Can be seen in the eyes of those that call
To make all that should be killed to crawl
While others say don’t hate nothing at all
Except hatred

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Make everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It’s easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

An’ though the rules of the road have been lodged
It’s only people’s games that you got to dodge
And it’s alright, Ma, I can make it

Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you

A question in your nerves is lit
Yet you know there is no answer fit
To satisfy, insure you not to quit
To keep it in your mind and not forget
That it is not he or she or them or it
That you belong to

Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma, to live up to

For them that must obey authority
That they do not respect in any degree
Who despise their jobs, their destinies
Speak jealously of them that are free
Cultivate their flowers to be
Nothing more than something they invest in

While some on principles baptized
To strict party platform ties
Social clubs in drag disguise
Outsiders they can freely criticize
Tell nothing except who to idolize
And then say God bless him

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he’s in

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him

Old lady judges watch people in pairs
Limited in sex, they dare
To push fake morals, insult and stare
While money doesn’t talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer’s pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death’s honesty
Won’t fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed
Graveyards, false gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough, what else can you show me?

And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only

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I wasn't sure what to think about this. For a minute when I first saw the headline I wondered if it was a different Bob Dylan they were talking about!  :giggle2:

 

Music and poetry are, of course, very closely related. There's no denying that the example Chrissy gave above could be read as a poem without any music but, at the same time, don't we have to draw the line somewhere between music and literature? With the vast amount of music awards available, should the Nobel prize for literature not go to someone who's devoted their lives to literature, rather than music?

 

It's a tough one. I think it will trigger some interesting debates on the literary value of song lyrics though.

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Huh? Bob Dylan gets the Nobel prize for literature....... *scratches head in disbelief*

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There must be a poetry/song writing prize he could have won? 

 

My thoughts exactly! Give him some sort of lifetime work of art Grammy or something... A musicional Nobel. But Nobel on literature???

 

Music and poetry are, of course, very closely related. There's no denying that the example Chrissy gave above could be read as a poem without any music but, at the same time, don't we have to draw the line somewhere between music and literature? With the vast amount of music awards available, should the Nobel prize for literature not go to someone who's devoted their lives to literature, rather than music?

 

It's a tough one. I think it will trigger some interesting debates on the literary value of song lyrics though.

 

Chrissy's echoing what my Boss said about Bob Dylan writing beautiful lyrics and poems. However... in my humble opinion, that's being a writer for music. In my humble opinion it takes an author to win any kind of award in literature. Especially such an esteemed award as this. 

 

Call me stubborn, call me a shut mind, I don't care. This prize is for authors. There are other equally worthy prizes for musicians and song-writers. 

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I had to digest this news for a bit, but then I realize there must be plenty of written literature I haven't considered or don't know as well and these people should know what they're doing for us to value their opinions. Just today I studied a school text mentioning that Homer's works and Beowulf are supposed oral literature, and Saramago (a previous Nobel in Literature winner) also wrote his books to be read orally.

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No Bob Dylan isn't a poet. He's an amazing musician but calling him a poet is stretching it. A lot. You know who else won the Nobel for their poetry? T.S.Eliot and Yeats. And look, I love Dylan, he is awesome but putting him next to Yeats is silly. 

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When you read the lyrics versus listening to them through the songs they could easily be published as poems. But it's the music and delivery that make them truly wonderful. Forever young!

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I wasn't sure what to think about this. For a minute when I first saw the headline I wondered if it was a different Bob Dylan they were talking about! :giggle2:

 

Music and poetry are, of course, very closely related. There's no denying that the example Chrissy gave above could be read as a poem without any music but, at the same time, don't we have to draw the line somewhere between music and literature? With the vast amount of music awards available, should the Nobel prize for literature not go to someone who's devoted their lives to literature, rather than music?

 

It's a tough one. I think it will trigger some interesting debates on the literary value of song lyrics though.


I agree, I think it will spark debate and that's always a good thing. :D

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I think most of us did the same when we heard that Bob Dylan had won this award.  Surely there must have been someone out there who deserved The Nobel Prize in Literature more than a singer/song writer.

 

As beautiful as the words were from that song it just seemed strange.

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