Credibility of Nobel Prize for Literature down to its nadir

The Nobel Prize for Literature for 2016 to rock-and-roll musician Bob Dylan has wiped out whatever was left of the credibility of the prize insofar as literature is concerned. Indeed, the Swedish Academy has of late begun to indulge in an orgy of perversities in regard to the selections of awardees for peace and literature. An audible gasp of  ugly surprise went up when, a few years ago, Barack Obama was awarded the Peace Prize. Obama himself gave all the appearance of being thoroughly embarrassed by the choice. This year’s choice of the Colombian President for the Peace Prize hasn’t also gone down very well. But it is in the field of literature that the Swedish Academy’s penchant to cause outrage has been most in evidence. The ostensible argument advanced by the Academy for the selection of Bob Dylan is that he has “created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.  With all the sympathy and empathy, and all the poetic sensibility, and all my love of music, I could muster, I listened to a sampler of his songs and pondered over every line of his lyrics. I am indescribably, overwhelmingly bewildered, shocked. I am in a rage in fact. I could at least find something to appreciate in the lines and tunes of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, (P)Elvis Pre(s)sley and others. But Bob Dylan’s monotonous, moaning, droning, blabbering balderdash is beyond endurance. How do Americans — and now the Swedish selecters — fall for this rubbish, and even ferret out non-existent meaning in this nonsense? Altogether, this year’s Nobel for Literature is both an absurdity and a monstrosity!

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