Friday, October 14, 2016

Way to Go Zimmy!

Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

It's a controversial decision to be sure, as Zimmy isn't the classical type of choice for such an honor. He's a folk singer, a songwriter.

How is that literature?

I saw one snob say that he didn't deserve the prize because there have been plenty of times through the years when Dylan actually stole the ideas for his songs from books and the such.

One critic said that Dylan being chosen was a dumbing down of literature.

I beg to differ, actually.

The first vinyl album I ever purchased with my own money was "Slow Train Coming."

I played that disc until it was worn to a nub. I love every song on that record. I bought it in cassette form, cd and then on I-tunes. I still crank every song.

That's not even my favorite Dylan record.

"He sucks!" I've heard plenty of times from people who were caught listening to Dylan with me.

"He's a poet," I would always respond. "Listen to the words!"

And that's where the beauty of Bob Dylan lies.

He's a terrific writer.

Google any number of Dylan songs if you can't stand the sound of his voice (and he is an acquired taste).

Dylan was an important voice in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and even now.

I don't know if he stole his "ideas".

I can tell you as a writer that things aren't really stolen, but they are borrowed and expanded on. I've borrowed a lot of ideas through the years.

I'm all for Dylan being honored.

I'd also argue that Springsteen is the greatest writer over the last 30 years or so and I have learned more from listening to them, and READING them than many other of the classic writers.

Is it literature?

Maybe not.

But I may listen to "Tangled Up In Blue" tomorrow and marvel at the way that song is put together.

One word after another...

...in a very tight space.

Not a single word wasted.

And that's writing!

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