Jump to content


Photo

GOAT music debate stuff


  • Please log in to reply
110 replies to this topic

#101 El-P

El-P
  • Members
  • 8705 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 October 2016 - 03:42 PM

How is fucking Bob Dylan relevant in 2016, no matter how great you think he is (which is heavily subjective), when on the other side you got a Syrian poet who is considered as the greatest Arabic poet today, who tangles with issues like Islam and violence, the arabic revolutions and such while, if you believe the specialists, bringing news forms in the entire field of arabic poetry. Times, they are a-changing, ya know. But anyway. Such goes the world. Star Power, as Sonic Youth would say.



#102 JerryvonKramer

JerryvonKramer
  • DVDVR 80s Project
  • 11315 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 October 2016 - 03:57 PM

Well the thing about the Nobel prize is that they can give it every year. There also seems to be a category error going on in your posts between political topicality and "relevance". The sphere of "relevance" is much wider than politics. Great writers don't just talk about events going on in world news, they cover the whole gamut of human experience.

This is not to say your Syrian poet is not deserving of the prize, maybe they are. But it's a bit of a false dichotomy to say that because Dylan doesn't really touch on topical events much in his songwriting, he's somehow less relevant. Although "Pay in Blood" from 2013's Tempest did seem to gesture towards some sort of political comment. Generally, though, Dylan has not been a political writer for the vast majority of his career. And even when he was, a song like "Masters of War" is pitched at a quite general level. I mean does that song lose any power today just because it was written in 1963?

Anyway, he's yet to make any sort of statement about this and didn't mention it when he was on stage in Vegas last night.

#103 El-P

El-P
  • Members
  • 8705 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 October 2016 - 04:09 PM

The Nobel prize is politic if anything else. Because really, art doesn't need prizes at all. And to give a Syrian poet the Nobel right now would have been, if anything else, a signal or sorts. Maybe put back some focus on what's *still* happening in Syria while the world doesn't give a fuck anymore, unless it is to close the frontiers because to hell with refugees. But oh well. I have nothing against Bob Dylan, really. It's just that, like you say, they can give it every year. They can give it to Dylan if they please some other time. Now ? This leaves kind of a sour taste. As a non-fan especially. Now, I understand why fans would be delighted.



#104 JerryvonKramer

JerryvonKramer
  • DVDVR 80s Project
  • 11315 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 October 2016 - 04:21 PM

I guess though if you set a precedent for that, then every Nobel prize would be used to make a political statement of some sort.

Looking at the history of it, arguably Solzenitsyn in 1970 right in the middle of the Cold War was political. Possibly also Wole Soyinka in 1986 while apartheid was still going on and Mandela was still in prison (Soyinka used the speech to talk about that).

Harold Pinter was also very vocal about the Iraq war when he got it in 2005.

But I guess you don't want a situation where it is widely felt that someone is receiving the prize ONLY because of something topical. Nobel prize seems to be something more for historical posterity than anything else.

#105 El-P

El-P
  • Members
  • 8705 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 October 2016 - 04:50 PM

I guess though if you set a precedent for that, then every Nobel prize would be used to make a political statement of some sort.

 

And ? That's the only worthy purpose. I love Beckett. I couldn't give a flying fuck he was a Nobel prize.



#106 JerryvonKramer

JerryvonKramer
  • DVDVR 80s Project
  • 11315 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 October 2016 - 04:59 PM

Right, I don't think it means much to any of the legacies of most of these people. It still remains to be seen as to whether Dylan is even going to address being given the award. Some writers (Doris Lessing) didn't want to know. Sartre turned it down.

I think for long-time Dylan fans, there might be some sort of legitimsing that this has had ... y'know him being a song and dance man and this being a prize for literature. It's some recognition he can be thought of as a writer in those terms. Although looking across reaction the past couple of days, there are plenty of voices saying it shouldn't "count" as literature. I mean, my view is that songs aren't "literature" in the strictest sense of words on a page, and that Dylan to be gotten properly must be listened to, just as Shakespeare or Beckett must be performed and seen in a theatre rather than read.

#107 MoS

MoS
  • Members
  • 402 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:India

Posted 14 October 2016 - 05:06 PM

I actually think giving Dylan a Nobel was a subtly political response to the extreme right-wingism gaining strength all over the world.

#108 JerryvonKramer

JerryvonKramer
  • DVDVR 80s Project
  • 11315 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 October 2016 - 05:16 PM

When discussing this over at a music forum I sometimes post on, had this exchange:

Me:

Anyone who thinks Bob is some sort of lefty hasn't really listened to Infidels. I don't think Dylan's politics are anything straight forward.

The narrator on the songs is not always him either. Look at a song like Pay in Blood.

Couple of replies:
 
 

Outside of his early anti-red scare, anti-nuclear war protest songs Dylan never touched on subjects as visceral as Vietnam or other major current events. In fact his first song about Vietnam on Empire Burlesque came two decades later. He has touched on some political topics but I always scratch my head when some people consider him overtly political. I always think of Bob's support of the civil rights movement as basic human decency and a call for human rights, not politics.



 

You do realise that no 'expert' or pundit discussing Dylan these days ever reaches beyond the safety of the '60's decade, don't you? ;)
No one has heard about Infidels or could care less about anything post-motorcycle accident. I do sometimes wonder if Dylan survived that accident as non-devotees rarely ever mention a single Dylan song post-66. Have I imagined the past 50 years of work? The film No Direction Home is sort of typical of how 'outsiders' tend to see and understand Dylan.



Was kind of interesting.

#109 El-P

El-P
  • Members
  • 8705 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 October 2016 - 05:21 PM

Beckett must be performed and seen in a theatre rather than read.

 

 

Beckett is just as fun when I read it. I've seen Cap au Pire on stage though, it was insane.



#110 JerryvonKramer

JerryvonKramer
  • DVDVR 80s Project
  • 11315 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 October 2016 - 05:29 PM

Well, I was thinking more of stuff like Act Without Words (which has no words), or Come and Go (with its insanely precise stage directions). Some of his plays which can be read in about 2 minutes, are much longer in performance.

Then again, I wrote my MA dissertation on Beckett and Existentialism and at that point had only read most of the plays, and I loved them then. Krapp's Last Tape probably my fave.

#111 MoS

MoS
  • Members
  • 402 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:India

Posted 14 October 2016 - 06:42 PM

Yeah, and it can he argued that in the current political landscape, the dominant discourse not only eschews basic decency, but actually despises it.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users