DEMANDS for the US singer-songwriter Bob Dylan to be awarded the highest prize in literature, the Nobel Prize, are growing – with one Danish professor outing herself as one of his backers in a newspaper interview.Read it all here.
Traditionally, the reclusive and enigmatic Dylan, who has now released more than 30 albums in a career spanning nearly 50 years, is thought to be reluctant to accept awards – although over the years he has picked up many, including an Oscar.
However, now pressure appears to be growing for the 68- year-old American icon to be awarded the Swedish Nobel Prize.
Professor Anne-Marie Mai told the Danish newspaper Politiken she had nominated Dylan for the prize – to be awarded next month – for his opus dating back to the early 1960s, which she said had “renewed poetry”.
Mai said she was only “one of many” who had nominated Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman in the US midwest.
A Nobel for Dylan would be the first time the prize is awarded to a musician, although Dylan’s fans regard him more in the tradition of the troubadour poet.
Dylan’s most famous works are still his early 60s protest songs such as Blowin’ In The Wind and The Times They Are A-Changin’, but he rapidly evolved into lyrical surrealism, and then, in the 1970s, religiosity. Meanwhile, he outraged folk purists by switching to electric guitar and embracing rock and roll.
His most recent string of albums – from 1997’s Time Out Of Mind to this year’s Together Through Life, largely reflect on the passing of time, old age and a need to right previous wrongs.
As well a the Oscar for the Best Original Song for 1999’s Times Have Changed, Dylan was awarded the 2000 Polar Music Prize by Sweden’s King Carl Gustav XVI. However, the singer refused to speak at the awards ceremony, or wear formal dress.
The Nobel Prize for Literature has previously been won by French writer Jean-Paul Sartre (1964), and the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, in 1969.
Although academics are supposed to remain silent about their nominations, Mai said “the time has come to publicly argue for Dylan”.
The singer had produced more than four decades-worth of “experimental, romantic and modernist work which both merged popular expressions with the traditions of world literature”. Dylan’s lyrics are full of “beauty, restlessness and energy”, she said – adding that this bore comparison with writers such as Pushkin, Baudelaire, Goethe and Keats.
Last year the Frenchman Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio won the Nobel literature prize. Every year nominations are requested from around 300 literature professors, members of the Swedish Academy and representatives of writers’ associations for the prize, which is then voted on by a committee and awarded each October.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
If it's fall and the leaves are starting to turn, then it's time for the annual Nobel Prize nomination of Bob Dylan. Here's the latest: