>>> The News: JAY KAY!
By staff writer Amir Blumenfeld
October 6, 2004

The real news (for boring people)
The breakdown (for college people)

Dylan's Nobel Nomination Sparks Debate

By MATTIAS KAREN, Associated Press Writer

STOCKHOLM, Sweden – How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a … Nobel Prize-winning songwriter? It's a question being asked increasingly in literary circles, as the annual debate over who should win the Nobel Prize in literature — to be announced Thursday — tosses out a familiar, but surprising, candidate: Bob Dylan.

HOLY SHIT! WHAT A FANTASTIC PUN!! OH Mattias Karen! You wordsmith you! Wait, lemme try one! “The answer my friend, is blowing in the winds…of STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN!” LOL!

While many music critics agree that Dylan is among the most profound songwriters in modern music, his repeated nomination for the Nobel Prize has raised a vexing question among literary authorities: Should song lyrics qualify for literature's most prestigious award?

The answer, is no. I mean…maybe. Depending on how you listen to it.

Christopher Ricks, co-director of the Editorial Institute at Boston University — and an avid Dylan fan who has written scholarly papers on the songwriter's work — said the question is “tricky.”

Wait, the question is “tricky?” or the answer is “tricky?” Speaking of which, what happened to that Ken Jennings guy? Did he ever lose at Jeopardy? Anybody know?

“I don't think there's anybody that uses words better than he does,” said Ricks, the author of highly regarded works of literary criticism such as “The Force of Poetry” and “Allusion to the Poets,” as well as books on T.S. Eliot, Lord Alfred Tennyson and John Keats.

But his greatest literary criticism, tentatively titled “DYLAN RULEZ!!!” is due out in stores October 21st.

“But I think his is an art of a mixed medium,” Ricks said. “I think the question would not be whether he deserves (the Nobel Prize) as an honor to his art. The question would be whether his art can be described as literature.”

Better yet, let's just give him the Nobel Prize for physics. I mean, didn't Dylan also invent Double Metaphysiological Cephelohemotosis Spray? I'm sorry, that was Julio Lugar Van Siezze!

It definitely can, said Gordon Ball, an author and literature professor at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. — who has nominated Dylan every year since 1996.

This is the same guy who's nominated Phish for the “Best Editing” Academy Award since '79. Why do we still give this guy a vote?!

“Poetry and music are linked,” Ball said. “And Dylan has helped strengthen that relationship, like the troubadours of old.”

“Poetry and music are linked,” and therefore Dylan should get a Nobel peace prize in literature. What? What's not to get?! I mean, William Faulkner is “aight” if you're into that whole “books is literature” crap.

The Nobel Prize in literature is given out annually by the 18 lifetime members of the 218-year-old Swedish Academy. Candidates can be nominated by members of other literary academies and institutions, literature professors and Nobel laureates.

I'm still waiting for MC Hammer to get a nod. 2 Legit 2 Quit shook up a generation.

Each year, the Swedish Academy receives about 350 nominations for about 200 different candidates, which is narrowed down to about five finalists. The winner is announced in October. The finalists, except for the winner, are not revealed for 50 years.

Man, I can't WAIT to see who was nominated in the 1954 race this year. I BET you it was that guy. Any takers?!

Speculation in the literary world is that the 2004 winner will be a woman, something that has not happened since 1996, when Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska was honored.

And even she had a teste satchel.

Some names emerge time and again, including Lebanese poet Ali Ahmad Said, also known as Adonis, and several women, including Danish poet Inger Christensen, novelists Margaret Atwood of Canada, Algerian Assia Djebar, American Joyce Carol Oates and Britain's Doris Lessing.

More like Joyce Carol Oat…MEAL! Hahahaha, her stuff is soooo dry. That's why that was a pun. Because oatmeal is dry also.

Ball said he first nominated Dylan after the writer Allen Ginsberg urged him to do so. Ginsberg, a Beat poet whose literary circle included Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, nominated Dylan in 1996.

If Ginsberg jumped off a bridge, would you do that TOO, BALL?! *Splashing sounds being heard from “Old Man's Bridge”*

“Dylan is a major American bard and minstrel of the 20th century” who deserves the award for his “mighty and universal powers,” Ginsberg wrote in his nomination letter, which Ball read to The Associated Press.

The sad thing is “bard” isn't even a word, it's a college. IN NEW YORK no less. I rest my case…atop your face.

The literary value of Dylan's texts are also supported by The Norton Introduction to Literature, a textbook used in American high schools and universities, which includes the lyrics to Dylan's “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

The Norton Introduction to Literature is like a gateway prize to the Nobel. Everybody knows that. Once he wins the Nobel, the only thing left to do is melt it down, cut it with the Pulitzer, and smoke it.

University of Virginia professor Alison Booth, who co-edited the anthology, said she doesn't “have any trouble at all considering (Dylan) for a literary interpretation.”

*Ripping a huge bong hit* “(Cough cough) No problem at all…you want next?”

“Literature has historically been defined very broadly,” Booth said. “I don't think we're testing some radical limits of literature by putting that in.”

Booth said, referring to a pink frog she was holding, pointing to a blender.

Still, most Nobel watchers say it's unlikely the Swedish Academy — traditionally drawn to novelists and poets who are often out of the mainstream — will expand the scope of the prize to include songwriters.

Then again, most Nobel watchers also agree that Everybody Loves Raymond is the funniest show on television. Which I for one, whole-heartedly agree with. RAYMOND, YOU LOVEABLE FATHER! YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN!

In 1997, the prize went to Italian playwright Dario Fo, whose works also need to be performed to be fully appreciated, some say.

More like Dario FAUX! I mean what a phony THAT guy was, right?! Ahahaha! Aah…ahaha. Ahh.

And when Winston Churchill received it in 1953, for his historical and biographical writings, the academy also cited his “brilliant oratory” skills.

Then the academy did a blowjob face. How effing rude. Though they didn't call him the “vacuum” for nothing. Just check out this carpet. STILLLL SPOTLESS!

See new PIC posts via Twitter or Facebook.

Sign up for satire writing or improv classes at The Second City - 10% off with code PIC.