By ELIZABETH GELBAUGH
Bob Dylan received the prestigious honor of the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday. Dylan is a far cry from the Swedish Academy’s typical choice, being a commercially successful musician instead of a high-brow, lesser-known writer with a strong political or social message.
However, when you take away the vocals and instrumentals, the lyrics left on the page bear a remarkable resemblance to poetry. The Swedish Academy recognized this and treated it as such.
Many see this award as a broadening of the standards of literature, expanding the category to include music and potentially other untraditional art forms.
“The old categories of high and low art, they’ve been collapsing for a long time,” music critic David Hajdu said in a New York Times article, ”but this is it being
Although many are praising the institution for expanding its literary horizons, others are not so pleased. Many people from the literary world voiced their disapproval on social media.
“I’m a Dylan fan, but this is an ill conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies,” Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh wrote on Twitter.
Both The New York Times and the BBC included this tweet in their articles on Dylan’s win. For the sake of objectivity, news media are obligated to include the opinions of those in disagreement with the Swedish Academy’s choice.
But does this publication of disapproval stifle evolution of the arts?
After receiving such backlash, the chances of reverting to the old method of separating high and low forms of art may resurface, causing a step back in this artistic progression.
Instead of immediate criticism, perhaps the news media should take a moment to appreciate the significance of this award and what it means for the future. Dylan’s talent and individuality was finally recognized, and, for the sake of future generations, the news media should acknowledge this accomplishment to the same extent that they have noted the disapproval.