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DOES BOB DYLAN DESERVE THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE?

bob-dylan

I’ve been listening to Bob Dylan for as long as I can remember, through all the ups and downs of my life and his career. I’ve tuned in for the sublime and the inspirational, and yes, for the dross as well. It’s been a long and usually rewarding journey.

So I’ve been intrigued by the global kerfuffle that followed the announcement of his Nobel Prize in literature last month. Rejoicing fans, academic snobbery – and some downright mean-spirited spleen venting too.

There are some big questions conjured by giving Bob the Nobel. Are song lyrics literature? You could make a case either way – but I vote “yes” on that one.

The bigger question is how can we give a bloke a prize in a specific category when he’s spent his whole career exercising his chameleon-like ability to resist, to defy categorisation? Dylan was famously asked at a mid-60s press conference whether he thought of himself as a singer or as a poet. “I think of myself more as a song and dance man”, he replied.

Recognition, it seems, extends to even the most mercurial.

I’ve done a radio piece on Dylan’s Nobel gong for the ABC Digital Show It’s Just Not Cricket – hosted by the marvellous Glynn Greensmith. It’s a 16-minute journey through the literary landscape of Bob Dylan songs, in which I suggest that literature is meant to be heard, as well as read. That literature should not repose like dead kings in musty books on dusty shelves, never to be visited or re-invented.

You can stream the audio here

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Posted by on November 5, 2016 in music, rd on the road

 

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WAS CYCLONE DYLAN NAMED AFTER BOB? TONY HILLIER’S WORLD OF MUSIC

bobFor a couple of days this week it looked as if a tropical depression might come ashore in far north Queensland. It had formed out over the Coral Sea, and we watched closely as it drew closer and got organised. As it turned out, it did become a cyclone – and in accordance with the long-established Bureau of Meteorology convention of choosing names boy-girl-boy-girl in alphabetical order, this one was given the name Dylan. Now was that choice inspired by Dylan Thomas, or Dylan from Beverly Hills 90210. Our music guru Tony Hillier is convinced the cyclone was named for Bob Dylan, giving the weather bureau credit for what he calls an “inspired choice” – inspiring Tony to present Bob Dylan songs with a weather flavour.

LISTEN  

The convention of giving proper names to cyclones was started by a pioneer of meteorology in Australia – Clement Wragge.

PLAY LIST

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan 1963

High Water from Love And Theft 1991

Shelter From The Storm from Blood On The Tracks 1975

Hurricane from Desire 1976

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TONY HILLIER CASTTony Hillier is one of Australia’s leading music journalists and a musician of long standing here in far north Queensland. His informed and insightful coverage of music features in The Weekend Australian and Rhythms magazine http://rhythms.com.au/

Tony Hillier’s World of Music is also available as a podcast. Search for Tony Hillier on your podcast app or in the iTunes store. And you can stay in touch with the FNQ music scene with Tony at http://www.entertainmentcairns.com/hilliers-hotline-archive.php

You can hear Tony on ABC Far North each Friday at 445pm.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in cyclones, EFFINCUE, rd on the road, Tony Hillier's World of Music

 

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