It was quite a surprise when I heard that Bob Dylan was the recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. I have long been a fan of Bob Dylan, have usually enjoyed his songs, his lyrics, and even to some degree his voice. However, with the abundance of writers, novelists playwrights, and poets in existence today it was curious the award would have been given to a troubadour. That would have made some sense 600 years ago when troubadours sang the tales of the times before Gutenberg invented the printing press.
Giving the Literature prize to a songwriter would be like giving the Economics prize to Donald Trump.
It seems there are so many, so many other possible choices such as Japanese novelist, Haruki Murakami; American writer, Margaret Atwood; British novelist, Neil Gaiman; Syrian Poet, Adonis; Irish Novelist, John Banville; or Italian novelist, Umberto Eco to name just a few.
Off hand, I wouldn’t think Bob Dylan’s lyrics would be considered literature. However, quite a few years ago I took a class titled Twentieth Century American Literature. Dylans song, “The Times They Are a Changing” was one of about ten works we discussed in the class.
This article argues that the reason Dylan won was because people don’t care much about books anymore: Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature is proof that no one cares about books — Quartz