By Alex Solari, Staff Writer
On October 13, 2016, Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize in literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”, according to the Swedish academy.
He is the first musician to ever win this prize, and the first American the prize to win since 1993.
Fast forward to October 21, and Dylan has given virtually no acknowledgment to his winning of the prize. He briefly acknowledged the prize while promoting his new book on his website, saying, he was the “winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.”
However, this small mention of the prize has since been deleted.
Some are saying Dylan’s lack of acknowledgment of the prize is due to his shyness, and general dislike for attention.
As much as I understand his desire for privacy, to completely disregard this prize is incredibly rude and ungrateful.
According to Slate, the Swedish Academy has even given up on contacting Bob Dylan, and they do not know if he will attend the Nobel Prize Winners’ Banquet on December 10.
A simple ‘thank you’ for the recognition of his work would be perfectly acceptable, but apparently he cannot be bothered to do that.
So, what exactly is the Nobel Prize of Literature? Most people associate the Nobel Prize with the acclaimed Nobel Peace Prize, which is awarded to individuals or organizations who help the peace movement in some way.
This is one of five Nobel Prizes though, and the other awards are for physics, chemistry, medicine, and literature.
Alfred Nobel, who died in 1896, was a chemist, engineer, inventor, and had many other careers in his lifetime. In his will, he left much of his fortune to award individuals who made strides in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace that ultimately help the world.
Along with the bragging rights the recipient has from winning such a prestigious prize, they also receive a large sum of money for their efforts in their field. For the literature prize, the recipients receive approximately $800,000 dollars.
According to Heavy, Bob Dylan is worth anywhere between $80 and $180 million dollars as of 2016. The Swedish Academy doesn’t exactly take the winners of the prize’s net worth into consideration, and I understand that.
But will someone with that ridiculous amount of money really put $800,000 dollars to good use? Maybe it’s just me, but I would rather see a lesser-known writer with amazing work win this money than someone who will not even notice the difference in their bank account.
I have nothing against Bob Dylan as an artist. Truthfully, I don’t know enough about him to say anything about his musical skills. However, it’s confusing that a song writer is winning a literature prize.
There are some out there that argue that lyrics are literature, and that may be true to a degree, but what about all of the other songwriters out there? Is he significantly more talented than the members of The Beatles and Freddie Mercury? Is he so much more talented than them that he deserves to win a Nobel Prize in his lifetime and they didn’t?
With lyrics like “You’re an idiot, babe/It’s a wonder you still know how to breathe,” is he really the best possible person the Swedish Academy could have came up with to win this award?
Music is an amazing part of life, and artists deserve to be awarded for the dedication and hard work they put into their creations.
However, the Nobel Prize of Literature should go to someone who works in literature, to someone who could use the money they receive to help further their work, and to someone who will actually acknowledge the prize.