Opinion: News of Dylan’s Nobel Prize provides a welcome respite from Trump-mania


What better diversion from the unceasing allegations against Donald Trump is there than Bob Dylan?

Truth be told, Dylan’s new-found status as a Nobel laureate for literature does not come without controversy. No one argues the indispensability of Dylan’s poetry, but the Swedish Academy has never awarded its literature prize to a musician, setting off rumblings that a more deserving artist didn’t get recognized.

Whatever one thinks of the Swedish Academy’s decision, Dylan’s prize provides as good an excuse as any to ponder, for a few moments, an icon of pop culture who reflects the best of our society. The letters here do just that.


Nancy Roeger of Carlsbad cites Dylan’s prize-worthy poetry:

In 1990 my daughter took a college class that focused on Dylan’s lyrics. Some people snickered then.

Who’s laughing now? Read the words in “Forever Young” to understand why he deserves his prize:

May you grow up to be righteous

May you grow up to be true

May you always know the truth


And see the lights surrounding you

May you always stay courageous

Stand upright and be strong

May you stay forever young

Christine Hagel of Orcutt, Calif., applies Dylan’s work to the 2016 election:

Dylan’s lyrics apply to everyday life. Consider this year’s convulsive presidential campaign. It’s hard to imagine a more resounding rebuke of low-information voters than a biting verse from Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”:


You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns

When they all come down and did tricks for you

You never understood that it ain’t no good

You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you

David Overly of Glendora, who is on the English faculty at Citrus College, sees Dylan’s prize as a political statement:

I am ecstatic that Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize. However, I am curious if the “Trump Effect” may have played a role. Although Dylan’s name has been mentioned as a Nobel possibility for several years, he was not considered to be a leading contender for this year’s prize. Furthermore, the Nobel committees have been accused of playing politics in the past.


The Swedish Academy’s choice of Dylan, with his uplifting civil rights era songs, may have been intended as a rebuff to Trump’s racism. Nobel committees have been know to honor Americans they like as a way to criticize those they do not.

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