I have loved the music and words of Bob Dylan since the early 1960s. But for him to win the Nobel Prize for Literature is truly a travesty. According to the Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary, Sara Danius, Dylan “is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition.” She goes on to draw parallels between his work and that of the ancient Greek poets by stating “if you look back, far back, 2,500 years or so, you discover Homer and Sappho and they wrote poetic texts that were meant to be performed, often with instruments—and it’s the same way with Bob Dylan.”
I know that the Swedish Academy is trying to be groundbreaking in stretching its definition of literature to include one of the great folk/rock musical lyricists of our time. Are we now to assume that Paul McCartney and Sting may be recipients of the Nobel Prize for Literature in the future? I find the pick of Dylan this year as an insult to the world wide literary community.