I recently learned that musician/singer/songwriter Bob Dylan is the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. Apparently his victory has sparked a lot of controversy amongst literary critics and writers, as some are stating that Dylan is definitely deserving of the prize while others are disagreeing entirely. When I first heard that Dylan had won, I was surprised and slightly perturbed. My first thought was that there are numerous other individuals who are more deserving of this title than Dylan, however it later dawned on me that lyrics and songwriting are absolutely a valid form of literature, and I began to wonder why songwriters are not nominated for this award more often.
Understandably individuals are angered because the Nobel Prize for Literature is a coveted and highly respected title. It is arguable that the persons who fail to support Dylan’s victory are considering the many other individuals who were nominated for the same award, and perhaps they were more deserving of the title. However, it is doubtful that any and all persons would be in unanimous agreement of any winner, so while controversy may be flourishing because of Dylan’s win, it is essential to acknowledge that he is likely just as deserving of the title as the next person.
Dylan certainly deserves recognition for his countless protest songs, some of his more popular peices being ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, ‘Masters of War’, ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’, ‘Maggie’s Farm’ and ‘Chimes of Freedom’. Dylan has written numerous anti-war songs in his career, and his choosing to make his opinions known regarding such a crucial topic through music was both bold and admirable.
Perhaps Dylan was not the most deserving recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, perhaps he was. Who really knows, and who can really determine the answer? There’s always next year.