Re: “Dylan’s Nobel was overdue; lyrics are legitimate literature” (TNT, 10/15).
Adam Bradley’s October 15th column on Bob Dylan’s Nobel recognition was fundamentally flawed. The author disregards Alfred Nobel’s will about the criteria used for the category of literature and introduces a scholarly bias in defining literature. Composing lyrics to a song is not equivalent to writing literary masterpieces. Literature perfects our use and application of grammar and syntax.
Are Tacoma Public Schools, UW/Tacoma, UPS and TCC students better served by reading the literary works of Chinua Achebe, Joseph Brodsky and Toni Morrison or investing time connecting the dots with music as literature?
Physicists, not astrologers, win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Chemists, not alchemists, win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Medical scientists, not midwives, receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine. In my field, only economists, not bankers or financial advisers, are eligible to win the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics.
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Mr. Dylan should take the high road and decline the Prize like the late French existentialist author Jean Paul Sartre did in the mid-60s. Declining the award brings dignity to Mr. Dylan and restores integrity to the field of literature. By not declining the literature prize, Mr. Dylan’s actions would paradoxically cast him as someone “blowing in the wind.”