I swear I didn’t know.
I didn’t know; and that’s why when I heard about Bob Dylan’s Nobel prize in literature I was as puzzled as the next, thinking what the heck?, what were those guys at the Swedish Academy thinking about?, is it a joke, or a canard? But no; it was true, and Sara Danius at the Academy came up with that implausible explanation, rather a justification: “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition“. Oh, please!
For a few minutes me and my folks commented on it, wondering if there were really no better and worthier candidates out there who, besides, wrote real literature? And if it was about being so progressist, and about rewarding poetry, there were no better poets who would beat Dylan by a landslide? ‘New poetic expressions’? ‘Great American song tradition’? Give me a break! Why should the literature jury at the Academy particularly care about the USAmerican song tradition? Whatever.
In any case, we reached to the hasty conclusion that the Swedish must be just bootlicking USA — like mostly everyone does.
Yet, for me, something didn’t tie in. I kept thinking that, if they were simply flattering ‘the great American nation’, there were other USAmerican authors, real writers, cultivated and praiseworthy artists deserved the Nobel in literature more than a — sure, yes, a remarkable one, but just a singer songwriter; just one more among the crowd. So, what was I missing? Continue