Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nobel, Prizes and Bob Dylan

I just heard the good news about Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize. It's great to hear it because in terms of politics, few writers are as prolific as Dylan. Now, I must admit that I was hesitant at first. First off, I'm not a big fan of prizes, as they only confirm the insularity of each[1], but sometimes they can pleasantly surprise me, and this one did just that. 

Any one trying to claim that he's not a writer, needs to rethink their lives and their definitions in life [2]. I think I've been a big enough proponent of audiobooks for some of the classics meant to be heard orally. In fact, I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed the Iliad as much as I did if I hadn't listened to it as an audiobook. Perhaps this shows some deficit in my level of reading and listening skills, but I think that the more I write, the more I see that different forms of storytelling are more than valid. If it gets the point across, then it works, pure and simple. And with Dylan, how can one deny this?

Now there are certainly some cries from those in the publishing world about how Dylan already has enough musical accolades, or that books need money and thus the prize but this isn't the point—the latter one especially. If your books aren't working, then find better ones. If that medium is done, then the Nobel Prize should change accordingly (what about books or stories written specifically on and for the internet?). Not that this seems to be a complete change. But I would like to see the Nobel Prize (and others) branch out more.

[1] And the Nobel prize, despite its claim that US writing was insular is certainly just that (note prizes given to Swedish writers/poets vs Asia or Africa). 

[2] Seriously, this is the best the nytimes could do? Is the only reason that books need money? Come on, now.

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