Friday 15 December 2017

Bob Dylan accused of plagiarising segments of his Nobel Prize lecture

2016 Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan (Invision/AP)
2016 Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan (Invision/AP)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Bob Dylan has been accused of sourcing some of the information for his Nobel Prize lecture from student revision site SparkNotes.

The legendary musician, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature, gave his Nobel Lecture on June 4 and spoke about three books from his childhood which had influenced him.

They were The Odyssey, All Quite on the Western Front, and Moby Dick.

However, Slate has found quite a few similarities between Dylan's take on the books and the summaries of those same books on SparkNotes.

Some of the 'quotes' given by Dylan do not appear in the books.

For example, Dylan says, "Tashtego says that he did and was reborn.  His extra days are a gift.  He wasn't saved by CHrist, though, he says he was saved by a fellow man and a non-Christian at that.  He parodies the resurrection."

SparkNotes, as quoted by Slate, say, "Tashtego... has died and been reborn, and any extra days of his life are a gift.  His rebirth also parodies religious images of resurrection.  Tashtego is 'delivered from death not by Christ but by a fellow man - a non-Christian at that."

Slate points out that neither "reborn" nor "non-Christian" appear in Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick.

This is just one of many examples as laid out in this graphic from Slate.  You can read the full piece here.

Slate's graphic outlining similarities between Bob Dylan's Nobel Lecture and SparkNotes references to Moby Dick

Here's Bob Dylan's 2016 Nobel Lecture in Literature

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