There has been much dark news of late; we can all agree on that sad fact. But in the wee hours of this morning there was a piece of miraculously, mind-blowingly good news when the Nobel committee announced that this year’s prize for literature went to one Robert Zimmerman—who is mostly known as, Bob Dylan.
Here’s a snippet of what the New Yorker’s David Remnick wrote after he heard:
….Then came the news, early this morning, that Bob Dylan, one of the best among us, a glory of the country and of the language, had won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Ring them bells! What an astonishing and unambiguously wonderful thing! There are novelists who still should win (yes, Mr. Roth, that list begins with you), and there are many others who should have won (Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Nabokov, Auden, Levi, Achebe, Borges, Baldwin . . . where to stop?), but, for all the foibles of the prize and its selection committee, can we just bask for a little while in this one? The wheel turns and sometimes it stops right on the nose…..
Below are a few of the songs that illustrate why.
(More timeless Dylan songs after the jump.)
Glad the Noble committee stretched their definition of the word “literature” while Bob is still alive. I always thought his best work, the surreal sort of free association lyrics in Mr. Tambourine Man, Subterranean Homesick Blues, Desolation Blues, etc. was like abstract painting. You look at it, can’t understand it, or the mind responsible for it, can’t deconstruct it, but then you realize it works. And eventually you realize it’s great.