Saturday 21 January 2017

Rewarding crowd-pleasers is not the point of Nobel prizes

Tim Stanley

Published 14/10/2016 | 02:30

A mural of Bob Dylan, the 2016 Nobel Prize winner in literature, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. REUTERS/Craig Lassig
A mural of Bob Dylan, the 2016 Nobel Prize winner in literature, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. REUTERS/Craig Lassig

Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Why not? If the Nobel Committees can give a peace prize to Henry Kissinger then it can give a literature prize to a man who hasn't written any literature.

  • Go To

Where that all ends, I don't know. Perhaps a Nobel Prize in 2025 being awarded to Donald Trump for lyrical tweeting.

This is not a question of taste. Dylan is a great folk artist, maybe the greatest alive. But the Nobel is supposed to be awarded not on the basis of what the public likes (if it were, Doris Lessing wouldn't have won it) but on ability matched by idealism.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Read More

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice