Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature a short while ago. This generated a lot of controversy as detractors felt that his music, though beautiful, did not qualify as literature. Then there were others who felt it was well deserved.
it was difficult to judge what Dylan himself thought as he did not respond to being awarded the Nobel. At the actual awards, that were held recently, though he did not show up he did send a speech which gave us a glimpse into his thoughts on the issue. He said he was surprised at receiving the honor like a lot of other people were. His ambitions for his music extended to playing in coffee houses or at the most to selling records – not to winning a Nobel. He then delved into his opinion on Literature and said that growing up reading Hemingway and Camus, these were his Literature heroes. However, he raised an interesting question when he talked about how Shakespeare was actually writing plays to be enjoyed in a theatre and really wasn’t thinking of writing Literature. So then what really is Literature?