Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The time's they are a catchin' up


Dylan wins the Nobel for Literature.

The New York Times knows nothing about literature:

 The announcement, in Stockholm, was a surprise: Although Mr. Dylan, 75, has been mentioned often as having an outside shot at the prize, his work does not fit into the literary canons of novels, poetry and short stories that the prize has traditionally recognized.

But the Nobel Committee does:

“I came to realise that we still read Homer and Sappho from ancient Greece, and they were writing 2,500 years ago,” she said. “They were meant to be performed, often together with instruments, but they have survived, and survived incredibly well, on the book page. We enjoy [their] poetry, and I think Bob Dylan deserves to be read as a poet.” *

A two-fer!

*The preferred shorter answer is that we classify poetry as "lyric" to this day because poems were performed with a lyre for accompaniment, and yes, even Homer and Sappho's poetry (and Beowulf!) were originally chanted (as we would call it) or sung, as Homer would have put it.  They would not distinguish Dylan because he put his words to music; they would wonder why we think "lyric" poetry shouldn't have music.

2 Comments:

Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

It's like the many people I know who claim to hate poetry, especially rhyming poetry in a set verse structure but who know every rhyming lyric to every song by x, y, and z. It's almost as bad as the fans of American sit-com TV and cop operas who hate opera because the plots are unrealistic.

It's one of the better choices of the Lit committee as far as I'm concerned. They're probably the most uneven of the Nobel establishments in the quality of their list of choices.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Yup. Rudyard Kipling? Really?

11:48 AM  

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