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What We Love Matters

August 24, 2018

Excellent reflection, Jake!

Jake Owensby

Much of the literary world blinked uncomprehendingly when the Nobel Committee first announced the winner of the 2016 prize for literature. Bob Dylan. Yes, that Bob Dylan. The folk singer. The rock star. The counter-culture hippie poet with a marginal singing voice. In some circles that stunned silence morphed into contempt and even outrage. 

Placing Dylan on a list that includes the likes of Doris Lessing, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Toni Morrison, and Saul Bellow was more than preposterous. It was insulting. The prestige of the Nobel Prize for Literature would be forever diminished.

14A156F4-85E5-433F-AE60-AD3F4B755F14By contrast, Dylan’s Nobel honor put a smile on my face. I’m a Dylan fan. Especially early Dylan. “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’” appealed to me when I was younger and, I think, speak truth to us now.

My problem with Dylan came in 1979. That’s when he started a three-year…

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