|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Wednesday, July 18, 2018
|Rock poet Bob Dylan wins Nobel Literature Prize|
This file photo taken on June 3, 1984 shows US singer Bob Dylan performing during a concert at the Olympic stadium in Munich, southern Germany. US songwriter Bob Dylan won the Nobel Literature Prize on October 13, 2016, the first songwriter to win the prestigious award and an announcement that surprised prize watchers. Istvan Bajzat / DPA / AFP.
by Pia Ohlin
STOCKHOLM (AFP).- US music legend Bob Dylan, whose poetic lyrics have influenced generations of fans, won the Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday, the first songwriter to win the award in a decision that stunned prize watchers.
The 75-year-old was honoured "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition", the Swedish Academy said.
The choice was met by gasps and a long round of spontaneous applause from journalists attending the prize announcement. The folk rock singer had been mentioned in Nobel speculation over the years, but was never seen as a serious contender.
The Academy's permanent secretary Sara Danius said Dylan's songs were "poetry for the ears" while acknowledging that some might find Dylan a "strange" choice.
"... if you think back to Homer and Sappho, you realise that was also aural poetry. It was meant to be performed, together with instruments," she said.
"But we still read them, 2,500-some years later... And in much the same way you can read Bob Dylan too. And you realise that he is great at rhyming, great at putting together refrains and great at poetic images," she told AFP.
Embodying both "the intellectual and popular tradition", he had been influenced by the Delta blues, folk music from the Appalachians and others such as the nineteenth century French poet Arthur Rimbaud who wrote in a surrealist style, she added.
"Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound," the Academy wrote.
Author Salman Rushdie, often tipped as a possible Nobel winner himself, hailed Dylan as a "great choice".
"From Orpheus to Faiz, song and poetry have been closely linked. Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition," he tweeted.
US President Barack Obama also tweeted his congratulations to Dylan, whom he called "one of my favourite poets".
Famously private, Dylan himself has yet to comment on the prize.
The Nobel is the latest accolade for a singer who has come a long way from his humble beginnings as Robert Allen Zimmerman, born in 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, who taught himself to play the harmonica, guitar and piano.
Captivated by the music of folksinger Woody Guthrie, Zimmerman changed his name to Bob Dylan -- reportedly after the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas -- and began performing in local nightclubs.
After dropping out of college he moved to New York in 1960. His first album contained only two original songs, but the 1963 breakthrough "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" featured a slew of his own work including the classic "Blowin' in the Wind".
Armed with a harmonica and an acoustic guitar, Dylan confronted social injustice, war and racism, quickly becoming a prominent civil rights campaigner -- and recording an astonishing 300 songs in his first three years.
Dylan's first British tour was captured in the classic documentary "Don't Look Back" in 1965 -- the same year he outraged his traditionalist folk fans by using an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival on Rhode Island.
The following albums, "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Blonde on Blonde", won rave reviews, but Dylan's career was interrupted in 1966 when he was badly injured in a motorcycle accident and his recording output slowed in the 1970s.
By the early 1980s his music reflected the performer's born-again Christianity, although this was tempered in successive albums, with many fans seeing a resurgence of his explosive early-career talent in the 1990s.
Since the turn of millennium, as well as his regular recording output and touring, Dylan has also found time to host a regular radio show, the Theme Time Radio Hour, and published a well-received book "Chronicles", in 2004.
He was the focus of at least two more films, Martin Scorsese's 2005 "No Direction Home" and "I'm not There" in 2007 starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Cate Blanchett.
Over the years Dylan has won 11 Grammy awards, as well as one Golden Globe and even an Oscar in 2001, for best original song "Things have Changed" in the movie "Wonder Boys".
'Class of his own'
Speculation prior to Thursday's announcement had focused on Syrian poet Adonis and Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o.
Reactions to the choice of Dylan were mostly positive, though some disapproved.
The Academy has been known to push the limits of the definition of literature, honouring for example Winston Churchill in 1953 for his wartime speeches.
Swedish music journalist Stefan Wermelin said the Academy was known for its varied choices.
"Sometimes it's someone unknown whom few have read, and sometimes they pick someone who has popular appeal," he said.
"But this is the first time the prize has gone to a musical form of expression and in that genre Dylan is totally in a class of his own."
But Per Svensson, culture writer at Swedish regional daily Sydsvenskan, called this year's choice "incredibly depressing" and a "Trumpification" of the prestigious prize to appeal to the masses.
And some of the reaction on social media was biting.
One man tweeted: "I totally get the Nobel committee. Reading books is hard."
Another posted a photograph of a group of bearded shaggy-haired hipsters with the caption: "Bob Dylan's win makes a lot more sense when you see this photo of the Nobel Committee."
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
October 14, 2016
Beneath Peru zoo, archaeologists find traces of ancient dog sacrifices
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts launches digital Fabergé archive
$10 million map of New York Harbour to be offered at TEFAF New York
Rock poet Bob Dylan wins Nobel Literature Prize
Paint, urine and (fake) blood: Russia conservatives attack art shows
Winning design announced for new art museum in Beirut
Exhibition features the most complete surviving example of a Gothic table fountain
Paintings and landscapes by Everett Gee Jackson on view at Hirschl & Adler
Exhibition of new sculptures by Arlene Shechet opens at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
Nobel prize-winning Italian playwright Dario Fo dead
Bertoia's Annual Fall Auction presents diverse categories of toys, banks, trains and holiday antiques
Egyptian masterpiece sells for £1.2 million as Bonhams smashes records in Middle Eastern Art sale
Katharine DeShaw named Academy Museum Managing Director, Advancement And External Relations
Rare William James Glackens New York street scene offered at Gray's
Buck Schiwetz Regionalism in Texas Art Auction at Heritage
Warhol, Picasso, Freud, Emin and more in Modern and Contemporary Editions Auction
Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art unveils 70-foot immersive drawing installation
An exhibition of lacquer works by Jihei Murase opens at Ippodo gallery
The National Gallery of Denmark presents a series of new paintings by Sergej Jensen
"True Nordic" at the Gardiner Museum explores the influence of Scandinavia on Canadian design
Lyons Wier Gallery opens exhibition of works by Fahamu Pecou
Robert Manley joins Phillips' 20th Century & Contemporary Art Department
Simon Lee Gallery opens exhibition of new sculptures by artist Angela Bulloch
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- French nudists get cheeky with theme park and museum outings
2.- Galerie Miranda opens exhibition of works by Marina Berio
3.- European police seize 25,000 trafficked ancient finds
4.- Son's tribute to his late father £120,000 restoration of their Rover 95 offered at H&H Classics
5.- The National Gallery acquires Artemisia Gentileschi self-portrait
6.- Thieves steal ancient arrow poison from Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in the Netherlands
7.- Researchers discover the oldest giant dinosaur species that inhabited the Earth
8.- One of J.M.W.Turner's greatest watercolours left in private hands sells for £2 million
9.- Louvre sets up Beyonce and Jay-Z art tour
10.- A 'Japanese tip': the origami art left by diners
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.