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Old 10-14-2016   #11
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Re: Bob Dylan

Dylan's lines have as much presence in my mind as those of any author I've ever read.

Inside the museums infinity goes up on trial/Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after awhile/But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues/You can tell by the way she smiles

There's seven people dead on a South Dakota Farm/There's seven people dead on a South Dakota farm/Somewhere in the distance/There's seven new people born

When you asked me how I was doing/Was that some kind of joke?

But I feel nothing for their game where beauty goes unrecognized

Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay

The hypnotic, splattered mist was slowly lifting

Well, she don't make me nervous/She don't talk too much/She walks like Bo Diddley/And she don't need no crutch

And so much more that I'll remember until my dotage. But you have to hear him sing these lines (which I do in my mind as I remember them) for them to have their full impact. Of course, the Nobel statement made this clear by comparing him with ancient poets whose lines were meant to be sung. I guess my negative feelings about the prize boil down to two things: 1) I don't think they should shift the Nobel (or any "literary" prize) away from words meant to be read, and 2) the wild unevenness of lyrical quality in many of Dylan's songs, even in many of his best songs.

I do admit I was elated when I saw that he'd won. That elation came from the part of me that's still the teenager who idolized Dylan way back when. I want to say, "See! See!" to everyone in my past who found my Dylan fixation incomprehensible. I'm still a little bit elated, but, but, but...

Look at what the Academy has done to him: They've set him up for years of denigration. For the rest of his life, he will hear that he wasn't worthy of a prize that's an ill-fit for his work in the first place--a painfully absurd situation. And it isn't Dylan's fault; it wasn't his mistake.

Skip to 1:08 of the interview here:


Do you think of yourself primarily as a singer or as a poet? Oh, I think of myself as more of a song 'n' dance man, you know.

It wasn't his mistake, but he will bear the consequences of it.

Perhaps this Nobel nonsense will bring Jim Morrison out of hiding, and he will come back for his!

Ending this post in a more positive way, I'll mention some favorite Dylan songs. I agree with Miguel that "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" is one of his best. One that is often overlooked, probably because of its length, is "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands." I'd put that in my top five. It's so long that it's all of side four of the vinyl Blonde on Blonde (a fact that was a wonder to my teenaged self). Other favorites: "Like a Rolling Stone," "Love Minus Zero/No Limit," "My Back Pages," "Visions of Johanna," "Idiot Wind," "Joey" (yeah, that choice is hard to defend, but listen to it! (the recording of it on Desire)), and, from more recent albums, "Mississippi," "High Water," and "Workingman's Blues #2."
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Old 10-14-2016   #12
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Re: Bob Dylan

No, Mr. Morrison is going to have to wait; Mr. Cohen comes first. I'm sure Jimbo won't mind though. He can listen to Scott Walker sing "Next" standing right behind him. I doubt, too, if Dylan will mind the Philistines claiming he didn't deserve such an 'honor.' After all Obama was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for...simply not being George Bush. As praiseworthy as that accomplishment might be, Bob's achievements are a bit more solid.
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Old 10-14-2016   #13
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Re: Bob Dylan

Quote Originally Posted by gveranon View Post
I guess my negative feelings about the prize boil down to two things: 1) I don't think they should shift the Nobel (or any "literary" prize) away from words meant to be read, and 2) the wild unevenness of lyrical quality in many of Dylan's songs, even in many of his best songs.
[...]
Look at what the Academy has done to him: They've set him up for years of denigration. For the rest of his life, he will hear that he wasn't worthy of a prize that's an ill-fit for his work in the first place--a painfully absurd situation. And it isn't Dylan's fault; it wasn't his mistake.
This echos many of my feelings about the decision. It feels like they didn't learn their lesson after conning Borges out of the Prize and they're just screwing around until more tremendous authors that are still alive disqualify themselves with death.

Then again I don't see why I should care since my tastes are not informed by that prize to begin with.

I spam Harlan Ellison's rants a lot on here, but here's a relevant clip.


This is my life. This is my damnation. This is my only regret--that I ever was born.

-- Swans, "Beautiful Child"
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Old 10-14-2016   #14
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Re: Bob Dylan



For such a prolific writer, unevenness is to be expected. Dylan's fearlessness as an artist allows him to embrace lines that sometimes seem howlingly bad; bur it also allows him to create lines that are outrageously brilliant. He's always been open to his personal Muse with an uncompromising trust.

Also some of the 'bad' lines turn out to be witty homage to the old musical traditions which he values most. The guy knows those traditions inside and out.
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Old 10-14-2016   #15
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Re: Bob Dylan


This is my life. This is my damnation. This is my only regret--that I ever was born.

-- Swans, "Beautiful Child"
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Old 10-14-2016   #16
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Re: Bob Dylan


This is my life. This is my damnation. This is my only regret--that I ever was born.

-- Swans, "Beautiful Child"
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Old 10-15-2016   #17
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Re: Bob Dylan

https://soundcloud.com/mdeabaitua/the-dinner-party-wars

L'odeur délicieuse des vieux livres
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Old 10-17-2016   #18
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Re: Bob Dylan

Dylan's silence continues: Nobel panel gives up knockin' on Dylan's door.

Interesting detail: On the day the prize was announced, he ended his Las Vegas concert with a cover of Frank Sinatra's "Why Try to Change Me Now."

I also notice that bobdylan.com (his official site) mentions a Grammy he won earlier this year but still doesn't mention the Nobel.

I do expect him to eventually acknowledge the award. He's won a lot of awards over the years, and he does tend to show up to receive these things. Also, he's an old-school gentleman, and at some point he'll probably be gracious. But he's not above looking expressionless at someone for a long time when that is called for.
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Old 10-18-2016   #19
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Re: Bob Dylan

A writer whose name I can't recall told his writing students to study the best lyrics in popular songs, they could learn a lot. This was in the 40's.
The media loves to create controversy where there is none or little. Tagore won his Nobel in 1913 and it was justified. He, too, was a musician and a poet.
Too many anemic intellectuals have won their awards. It makes perfect sense that Dylan--whose influence on popular and high brow culture has been far greater than most writers--should now receive his own.
But I doubt if Dylan cares much about awards at his age and with all his accomplishments.
If he accepts, he just becomes another in a long line of winners; but If he declines, he'll be known as..."Wasn't he the guy who turned down a Nobel?" How cool would that be?
But I think he will accept. As Gveranon said, he likes going to these shindigs. And the drinks should be free.
Hey, you never can tell who you might meet. Oh, wait. This isn't the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Those guys know how to party.

Did you know that Jenny McCarthy won an award in Medicine? Anti-vaccinate activists cheered her on. Dear God.

Last edited by Druidic; 10-18-2016 at 01:40 PM..
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Old 10-18-2016   #20
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Re: Bob Dylan

Jenny the celebrity M.D.:

Give Jenny McCarthy Lifetime Achievement Award | GomerBlog

"What Exactly is a Dream? And What Exactly is a Joke?"
-Syd Barret
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