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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceOther Musicians and Ensembles(Moderator: blast) Bob Dylan wins 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature
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Graham Martin
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« on: Oct 13, 2016, 02:59PM »

This is a very strange coincidence, but only two days ago I changed my signature from a Bob Dylon lyric quote, which I have always liked very much. This was it:

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."

~Bob Dylan~


And now comes the news overnight that Bob has won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature for his songwriting efforts. I believe this is a well-deserved and a compliment to the thinking of my generation. John Lennon, of course, carried on the tradition. It was about time the Nobel people awarded the prize to a musician and in so doing accept the fact that lyric writers are amongst the greatest of writers and poets, especially considering the constraints they often work under having to fit the words to the music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G58XWF6B3AA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l4nVByCL44

I guess I was always a bit of a hippy at heart. Good!

I think I will have to change my signature back to what I had before. :D

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-13/bob-dylan-wins-nobel-prize-for-literature/7931116

So, what do you guys think about Bob getting the award?   
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 13, 2016, 03:25PM »

I love Dylan's music and lyrics.  Great and influential writer? Not really.  There are much more deserving, IMO.
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 13, 2016, 03:58PM »

I can't recall who, maybe Daniel Lanois, said the world didn't need another Bob Dylan one note melody.
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 13, 2016, 07:02PM »

I always enjoyed Dylan's songs -- as long as he didn't sing them Evil
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 13, 2016, 09:31PM »

Wow. So where's Sherman Alexie's Grammy?

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« Reply #5 on: Oct 14, 2016, 06:11AM »

I always enjoyed Dylan's songs -- as long as he didn't sing them Evil

I saw him play about 20 something years ago in Charlotte. It was one of the worst concerts I have ever been to. He just sort of pulled his hat down and mumbled into the mic for an hour and a half. I didn't even know what song he was on until the band started singing backgrounds. There was no interaction at all with the audience. He didn't even say hello. Complete waste of money.
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 14, 2016, 09:10AM »

Come gather 'round people where ever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone,
For the times they are a' changin'!

Come writers and critics who prophesy with your pen
And keep your eyes wide the chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon for the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a' changin'!

Come senators, congressmen please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside and it's ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a' changin'!

Come mothers and fathers throughout the land
And don't criticize what you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a' changin'!

The line it is drawn the curse it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a' changin'!



If Dylan only wrote this song and nothing else, it would be enough for the pulitzer.
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 14, 2016, 09:25AM »

Forgive me for taking this one personally, but this falls in my area of expertise. Compared to other poets, or even other well-trained lyricists, Dylan is a hack.

Imagine a trombonist who hadn't been to a conservatory, playing out of tune but with great feeling, getting first chair in a major symphony. You would be outraged. I'm outraged. Dylan's writing is shoddy. The scansion is clunky and works only because he jams words into a verse like Nikki Minaj jams her posterior into yoga pants. The rhyme is imperfect--not because that enhances the message, but because the words are poorly chosen. The syntax often sounds like Yoda.

The man was an important cultural icon, but putting him in a category with Alice Munro or Doris Lessing is insulting. "The wheel's still in spin?" Really? That much trouble to get "spin" at the end of the verse so you can rhyme it with "pen"? I guess for Dylan, with his nasal pronunciation, "pen" rhymes with "spin," but it's something that could (and would) have been re-written by any competent lyricist.
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 14, 2016, 09:35AM »

With apologies for piquancy of expressive terms:

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-entertainment/writing-a-novel-a-lot-fking-harder-than-writing-blowin-in-the-wind-say-novelists-20161013115334
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 14, 2016, 10:11AM »

Poetry isn't just about the words.

...Geezer
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 14, 2016, 10:21AM »

Poetry isn't just about the words.


Right. It's about how they're arranged. And that's my point. Dylan isn't very good at arranging words. He has a few interesting images and phrases, but the bulk of what he writes just amounts to poorly selected and arranged words.
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 14, 2016, 10:22AM »

So who decides the Lit prize? Eighteen members of The Swedish Academy

Quote
The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786 by Swedish King Gustav III. The Academy is composed of 18 members whose tenure is for life. Known as "De Aderton" (The Eighteen), current members of the Academy include distinguished Swedish writers, linguists, literary scholars, historians and a prominent jurist. Its working body is the Nobel Committee, elected from among its members for a three-year term.


I'm going to guess the current members were of teen or 20-something age during the 60s.

I can hope that in 20 years the membership of the Swedish Academy will be awarding a prize to Duran Duran or Rick Astley.

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« Reply #12 on: Oct 14, 2016, 11:00AM »

Right. It's about how they're arranged. And that's my point. Dylan isn't very good at arranging words. He has a few interesting images and phrases, but the bulk of what he writes just amounts to poorly selected and arranged words.


Nope. Not really.

...Geezer
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 14, 2016, 12:08PM »

Nope. Not really.

...Geezer

Wow. You must have won the Nobel Prize for your debating skills.
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 14, 2016, 12:48PM »

I'm not debating.

...Geezer
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 14, 2016, 01:34PM »

Wow. You must have won the Nobel Prize for your debating skills.

Last I checked, they don't offer a nobel for debating skills. I doubt anyone on this forum would be in the running if they did.

They do, however, offer one for literature, and the panel agreed that Mr. Dylan deserves one this year.
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« Reply #16 on: Oct 14, 2016, 01:45PM »

Imagine a trombonist who hadn't been to a conservatory, playing out of tune but with great feeling, getting first chair in a major symphony. You would be outraged.

Actually, I would be encouraged to go practice more and maybe I could win the next one.
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 14, 2016, 02:21PM »

Last I checked, they don't offer a nobel for debating skills. I doubt anyone on this forum would be in the running if they did.

You're right. I don't know how I could have been so mistaken. I was certain that they had a Nobel Prize for debating skill, and another for recognizing when someone on the internet is using sarcasm. Thanks for correcting me on that. I truly appreciate it.

They do, however, offer one for literature, and the panel agreed that Mr. Dylan deserves one this year.

Yes, again you're right. Prize award committees should never be criticized for their selections. Like when the "Starland Vocal Band" beat out "The Brothers Johnson" for "Best New Artist" in 1977, or when Disco OHW "A Taste of Honey" beat out "Elvis Costello" for the same prize in 1979.

Let's also have a shout-out for the Nobel awarded to António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz for his pioneering work in developing the prefrontal lobotomy. No error there.

I'm not debating.

...Geezer


Again, I apologize. My understanding of what that term means has changed since last Sunday.  Evil
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« Reply #18 on: Oct 14, 2016, 02:36PM »

...

Again, I apologize. My understanding of what that term means has changed since last Sunday.  Evil

I wouldn't have called what happened last Sunday as a Debate either.

You are entitled to your opinion on the validity or lack of it for the Nobel award.  Let's face it -- they gave one for Peace to Obama in 2009 and this year to Machado.  Did either one really deserve it?  Sometimes the choice of the Committee seems a bit strange.
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« Reply #19 on: Oct 14, 2016, 03:40PM »

I didn't know this discussion was supposed to take place in real time. I was busy hanging kitchen cabinets. My point is - no sarcasm intended - that truly good poetry or prose evokes a feeling, emotion, deeper understanding, consciousness lifting, etc. It's more than the sum total of words and the clever ways they are arranged.

Some despise Robert Zimmerman's poetry. So it has evoked something in them as well as in others who appreciate it. Forgettable poetry or prose does not do that. One cannot discount the effect he has had - good or bad - on quite a lot of people; to the point of possibly re-directing our culture.

While we may or may not agree with the award, I am content to think that brighter minds had justifiable reasons. Then again, it may all be a conspiracy. lol

...Geezer
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« Reply #20 on: Oct 14, 2016, 03:44PM »

------  Let's face it -- they gave one for Peace to Obama in 2009 and this year to Machado.  Did either one really deserve it?  - - - - -

"Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind"
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Grah

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« Reply #21 on: Oct 15, 2016, 03:57PM »

Just underlining the lyric that Zac posted, our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also thought it had an applicable message for Australian politicians, particularly those of his own coalition government:

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/turnbull-pays-tribute-to-bob-dylan/news-story/ae4f7f0b5b6daea9882b379a571710c5

Some recent embarrassing events in our Senate account for the rather wry grin he gave when quoting Bob Dylan's lyric.
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Grah

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May you build a ladder to the stars
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May you stay......forever young."
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« Reply #22 on: Oct 18, 2016, 05:13AM »

According to the legendary highly accurate Yahoo news, Dylan has yet to be reached for comment. He was last seen heading down highway 61.

...Geezer
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« Reply #23 on: Oct 22, 2016, 03:19PM »

According to the legendary highly accurate Yahoo news, Dylan has yet to be reached for comment. He was last seen heading down highway 61.

...Geezer

Still little reaction from Dylan and this is now upsetting the Swedish Academy:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-23/bob-dylan-slammed-for-nobel-prize-silence/7957578
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Grah

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May you build a ladder to the stars
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May you stay......forever young."
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« Reply #24 on: Oct 23, 2016, 01:57AM »

Perhaps, like many of the rest of us, he simply has no idea what to make of the award...
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« Reply #25 on: Oct 24, 2016, 02:45PM »

Maybe the problem is that he does not think the $900,000 prize money is a big enough fee for the lecture (or concert) he must deliver within six months of receiving the award. Other than his excellent music, Bob Dylan was never known as a great communicator. You only have to think back to his behaviour when he got the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. Yeah, RIGHT.
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Grah

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« Reply #26 on: Oct 24, 2016, 02:53PM »

According to the legendary highly accurate Yahoo news, Dylan has yet to be reached for comment. He was last seen heading down highway 61.

...Geezer

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« Reply #27 on: Oct 24, 2016, 03:08PM »

Someone had to...  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfTlGMCeuDE
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« Reply #28 on: Oct 25, 2016, 07:21PM »

While I've always appreciated and admired Dylan as a clever and talented lyricist who spoke strongly to his generation, I've also always felt that the songs of musicians like Leonard Cohen, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and John Prine were more qualified as great American literature per se.

At least from my American, post-Boomer,Gen-X, B.A. in Literature perspective...

But then again, it's not an American prize, now is it?

"Aye, there's the rub" ...


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« Reply #29 on: Oct 25, 2016, 09:26PM »

While I've always appreciated and admired Dylan as a clever and talented lyricist who spoke strongly to his generation, I've also always felt that the songs of musicians like Leonard Cohen, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and John Prine were more qualified as great American literature per se.

At least from my American, post-Boomer,Gen-X, B.A. in Literature perspective...

But then again, it's not an American prize, now is it?

"Aye, there's the rub" ...

I agree with you entirely, which is why I thought it was notable that the committee had finally chosen a lyric writer per se. Of course, Dylan lyrics tend to be more a social commentary, whilst the others are often writing about lovey-dovey topics.

I guess one sign of the admiration for lyric writers is that their name is usually listed first in the credits. 
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Grah

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May you build a ladder to the stars
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May you stay......forever young."
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« Reply #30 on: Oct 26, 2016, 05:08AM »

I agree with you entirely, which is why I thought it was notable that the committee had finally chosen a lyric writer per se. Of course, Dylan lyrics tend to be more a social commentary, whilst the others are often writing about lovey-dovey topics.

I guess one sign of the admiration for lyric writers is that their name is usually listed first in the credits. 

Maybe Robert is making a social commentary. It would fit the mold of a rapper. A rapper? Yep. That's how some of us referred to him back in the 60's, when he was putting out his fast-paced lyrical songs. We would say, "Let's go put on Highway 61 and listen to Dylan rap". Then we would all get in an, er, altertered mood and rap to each other all night. Of course, we meant that back then as talking non-stop. But set to music, today it is now accepted as the art form of rapping. Gee, I wonder where they got THAT from. lol

...Geezer
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« Reply #31 on: Oct 26, 2016, 10:01AM »

An interesting and IMO spot-on perspective: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/opinion/the-meaning-of-bob-dylans-silence.html?ref=opinion

"The Nobel Prize is in fact the ultimate example of bad faith: A small group of Swedish critics pretend to be the voice of God, and the public pretends that the Nobel winner is Literature incarnate. All this pretending is the opposite of the true spirit of literature, which lives only in personal encounters between reader and writer. Mr. Dylan may yet accept the prize, but so far, his refusal to accept the authority of the Swedish Academy has been a wonderful demonstration of what real artistic and philosophical freedom looks like."

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« Reply #32 on: Oct 26, 2016, 10:18AM »

While I've always appreciated and admired Dylan as a clever and talented lyricist who spoke strongly to his generation, I've also always felt that the songs of musicians like Leonard Cohen, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and John Prine were more qualified as great American literature per se.

At least from my American, post-Boomer,Gen-X, B.A. in Literature perspective...

But then again, it's not an American prize, now is it?

"Aye, there's the rub" ...



I'm a huge folk music and early country music fan, and I've admired all of these performers you've listed, I would have to disagree with you that Rambin' Jack Elliott was a better more deserving lyricist than Dylan.  Cohen and Prine are in his league, but I don't see Jack Elliott as being in that category, could you site some specific songs that warrant putting him in the same class as a lyricist as Dylan, perhaps I'm missing something.  Most of my favorite Jack Elliott songs were actually written by others (including Dylan). 
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« Reply #33 on: Oct 26, 2016, 11:12AM »

I was hoping that if the award went to a musician it would have gone to James Brown, powerful lyrics and a great use of interjections.  Who can forget “Ain’t it funky”, “We need some head”, and “Take it to the bridge”.

Of course "Celebrity Hot Tub" takes the cake and captured the essence of JB

"Sometimes it make me break out in a cold sweat!
One two three four!

Hot tub! Ha! Da!
Ah, full of water!
I say hot tub! Ha!
Day! Ba! Very, very hot. Very hot! Da!
Hot tub! Gonna get ya hot-a!
Gonna make ya sweat! Hey! Say!
Hot tub! Rub a dub in the hot tub!
Rub a dub with me!

Should I get in the hot tub?
(Yeah!) Will it make me sweat?
(Yeah!) Should I get in the hot tub?
(Yeah!) Will it make me wet?
(Yeah!) Well, well, well..

Hot tub! Ah!
Get in!
Gonna get in the water!
Gonna make me sweat! Ah!
Here I go in the hot tub!

Hhhhhiiiigggghhhh!!!

Too hot in the hot tub! Ma!
Burn myself!
Make it cooler!
Good God!
Gonna make me..

I'm gonna get in the hot tub..
I'm gonna get in the hot tub..
I'm gonna get in the hot tub..
Ha! Lilin! Lidilin! Eh!
A gonna make me sweat-ah!
Dah! Gonna make me sweat!
Gonna make me sweat-ah!
Dah! Gonna get me in the hot tub!
I can't stand it!
Here I go! I can't stand it!

Here I go in the hot tub!
Gonna get in the hot tub!
Gonna get it wet-ah!
Good God!
Hhhiiigggghhhhh!!! Ha!
Good God!
Rub a dub!
In the hot tub!
Rub a dub with me!
Good God!
Rub a dub in the hot tub!
Gonna set me free!"
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« Reply #34 on: Oct 26, 2016, 11:56AM »

... Leonard Cohen ... great American literature per se.

Wouldn't that be great Canadian literature?
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« Reply #35 on: Oct 26, 2016, 01:38PM »

Wouldn't that be great Canadian literature?

Oops!

Absolutely Canadian.

Borders tend to blur after a few evening drinks...

I was hoping that if the award went to a musician it would have gone to James Brown, powerful lyrics and a great use of interjections.  Who can forget “Ain’t it funky”, “We need some head”, and “Take it to the bridge”.

"Funky Drummer" from Jungle Groove is one of my favorites:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoQ4AtsFWVM
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« Reply #36 on: Oct 26, 2016, 01:50PM »

I'm a huge folk music and early country music fan, and I've admired all of these performers you've listed, I would have to disagree with you that Rambin' Jack Elliott was a better more deserving lyricist than Dylan.  Cohen and Prine are in his league, but I don't see Jack Elliott as being in that category, could you site some specific songs that warrant putting him in the same class as a lyricist as Dylan, perhaps I'm missing something.  Most of my favorite Jack Elliott songs were actually written by others (including Dylan). 

Yeah you're right on this. Again, written a few drinks in. I find Jack to be a compelling storyteller, but his body of work doesn't approach Dylan's.

I guess the real disappointment for me is that great American writers like Philip Roth and Cormac McCarthy get passed over year after year.

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« Reply #37 on: Oct 26, 2016, 03:24PM »

The Nobel committee doesn't go by nationality so a Canadian can win the prize as much as an American.

Wonder if Dylan will do a George C. Scott.
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« Reply #38 on: Oct 28, 2016, 10:56PM »

Heard on the Beeb: Dylan has checked in and says he is flabbergasted but honored.  Maybe it took this long for him to come down from the drug high? Evil
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« Reply #39 on: Oct 29, 2016, 04:55AM »

According to Yahoo news this morning, ""The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless," Dylan told Danius, according to a statement posted Friday on the academy's website. "I appreciate the honor so much.""

"Speechless". lol Fitting word for a Nobel Prize in literature.

...Geezer
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« Reply #40 on: Oct 29, 2016, 08:07AM »

Heard on the Beeb: Dylan has checked in and says he is flabbergasted but honored.  Maybe it took this long for him to come down from the drug high? Evil

Maybe the notification went into his "spam" folder. I get a couple of emails a week telling me I've won some prize or another.
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« Reply #41 on: Oct 29, 2016, 08:35AM »

I always thought Gary Trudeau should win a major literary prize for Doonesbury. I followed it during the 90s and into the dot com/Iraq war eras, before I stopped reading newspapers for anything but sports. One favourite story line was the Congresswoman with Alzheimer's who left her house to a homeless woman who then lost it through her husband's day trading. Another was the kid who grew into the CIA operative through his university summer job. Always had multiple story lines going on that showed what was going on in America.
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« Reply #42 on: Nov 16, 2016, 05:58PM »

We now know that Bob Dylan will accept the $1.2 Million prize money but will not attend the Nobel literature prize ceremony, due to prior commitments. No news yet on how he will deliver the required lecture but he has six months to arrange this.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-17/bob-dylan-wont-attend-nobel-prize-ceremony/8032404
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« Reply #43 on: Dec 11, 2016, 02:31PM »

For those that questioned whether Dylan's lyrics were really literature, I like very much his written acceptance speech delivered at the Swedish Academy gala banquet by the US ambassador to Sweden (no less!):

"Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself 'are my songs literature?'"
Dylan thanked the Swedish Academy "for taking the time to consider that very question and, ultimately, for providing such a wonderful answer". Good!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-11/bob-dylan-compares-himself-to-shakespeare-in-nobel-prize-speech/8110524

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« Reply #44 on: Dec 11, 2016, 04:29PM »

I respect the lyrics, and accept their place in literature.  Perhaps that's also my respect for the Nobel committee and their selection process.

As  august a committee Dylan had to do the receiving for hm, I think it bad form that he couldn't figure out how to receive it in person.   With all due respect, he's not so important that he couldn't figure this out.   
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« Reply #45 on: Apr 01, 2017, 05:57PM »

It is four months since Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature and he has finally got around to accepting it at a private event in Stockholm, before he played a scheduled concert in the city. He has still not give the necessary lecture but has promised to do this on tape.

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition". 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-02/bob-dylan-finally-gets-hands-on-his-nobel-literature-prize/8408484

I believe it was a very fitting award!
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« Reply #46 on: Jun 05, 2017, 04:18PM »

It is now 7 months since Bob Dylan won the Nobel prize for literature and he has finally delivered his Nobel lecture just in time to collect a 8 million Swedish krona ($1.2 million) reward. The lecture was recorded on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Dylan said his songs only needed to move people, not to make sense. Don't know The notoriously media-shy Dylan said: "Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They're meant to be sung, not read."

I am not so sure the statement is true for Bob's own tunes because some of them make very good sense to me, as you can see from my signature. But the Swedish Academy said, "The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent. Sara Danius of the Academy added that, "Now that the lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close." :D
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Grah

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« Reply #47 on: Jun 15, 2017, 01:14AM »

After waiting until the last minute for his Nobel Prize lecture, Dylan is now being accused of plagiarising from Spark Notes.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-15/did-bob-dylan-plagiarise-his-nobel-acceptance-speech/8620786
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« Reply #48 on: Jun 15, 2017, 06:04AM »

that is an awesome bit of trolling from the man
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