Bestowing the Literature Nobel Prize to Bob Dylan, an American song writer has been controversial. It is the first time that the Swedish Academy chooses a musician for this honor opening up the debate whether song lyrics on their own have the same artistic value than poetry or literature. The Academy credited Dylan with “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” A member of the Nobel committee called him “a great poet in the English-speaking tradition.” Some say that Dylan is a great choice as the scope of literature has been stretched before when Churchill won the same prize for his political speeches. Detractors say that Dylan is a good and successful artist but his art is bifold. His lyrics without music are not worthy of the prize. It would be like giving a journalist a grammy. Adding to the controversy, Dylan’s attitude has not helped. He remained silent the first two weeks after the announcement. One of the Academy members called him “impolite and arrogant.” No one knew what Dylan’s feeling were on the prize, if he would accept it or even attend the event. In an interview to a British newspaper Dylan answered playfully, in response to a question of why the Academy could not reach him, “Well, I’m here” with no further explanation. Dylan would later send a letter to communicate he would not attend the event because of pre-existing commitments. Again, some find his comments disrespectful and antagonizing while others say that those answers are simply “Dylan being Dylan.” Is Bob Dylan worthy of a Literature Nobel Prize or the Academy has made a poor choice? Is Dylan’s attitude towards the prize disrespectful and prideful or it’s the representation of a misunderstood genius?

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