Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 Nobel prize for Literature. Why? According to the committee, Dylan's prize represents 'having created new poetic expressions within the American song tradition. In other words, the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind. The answer is blowin' in the wind.
I have little to comment on Dylan receiving the Nobel. He is not the first lyricist to win the prize. Rabindranath Tagore of India received the Nobel in 1915. With that in mind, I feel no compulsion to quibble over the place of song lyrics with in literature. Besides, with Yassir Arafat, Al Gore, and Barack Obama as past recipients of a Nobel prize, albeit for—keep a straight face, folks—peace, a Nobel of any type possesses questionable value as far as I am concerned. But this is the first Nobel Prize in Literature to go to an American to go to an American since Toni Morrison in 1993. So there is that.
I really just want to take the opportunity to post one of Dylan's less famous songs, it is still one of my favorites. Truth be told, I find Dylan a far better songwriter than singer. Maybe that was a factor in his Nobel. I am far more fond of his songs when they are covered by other, often diverse artists. Perhaps the diversity was the element deem the Nobel Worthy contributions to the American songbook. Anyway...this is one of the few songs I actually like to hear Dylan sing. The strange and unpleasant feel of 2016, acutely brought to mind while writing the previous two posts, caused the song to resonate with me.