Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature today for the "poetic expressions" within his lyricism. He is the first musician in history to win the prize, which historically has been awarded to authors of novels, essays, poems, and prose.
From songs of heartbreak like "Tangled Up in Blue" to social commentary like that in "A-Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall," Dylan has inspired and mystified the masses, and, in particular, the masses of dads.
Naturally, the announcement of Dylan's award elicited some feelings among fathers throughout the country. Dylan was said to have had his "finger on the pulse of [his] generation," and today's dads are among (or somewhat close to) said generation. We asked a few dads about their thoughts and feelings towards Dylan's latest achievement.
What are your thoughts on Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize in Literature?
Michael: My thoughts are that he deserves it. He's been writing lyrics that affect people's lives for a long time now and he deserves to be recognized. I've never looked at him as a musician. I look at him more as a writer and a poet.
Rick: Really good. Actually great. Often his songs are like spoken poetry with music backing. A good thing, since his voice ain't great. Now it's basically gravel gruff. Check out "Subterranean Homesick Blues." Cool, old video goes with it. Maybe the first music video ever. Bob Dylan is a poet more than a songwriter.
Paul (via voice message text): My first introduction to literature in music was when I was in eighth grade analyzing "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
What was your initial reaction to the news?
Damon: Oh my gosh this is so fantastic! It's unprecedented and perfect.
Ron: No thoughts about it really.
So you think he deserved it?
Michael: I think it's good. It's good for people doing good things to get recognition.
Damon: Oh I think it's well deserved! I think if the Nobel Committee was going to veer out of the norm, Bob Dylan is the perfect artist to whom they could veer. His articulation and his influence are unparalleled.
He's the first musician to ever win the prize. What separates him from other musicians?
Michael: You don't reach the status he has unless your words actually mean stuff to people. I don't think Miley Cyrus would ever win the Nobel Prize [laughs], unless they give one out for twerking!
Damon: Whatever has him captivated at the moment is what is most powerful in his music, whether that's the breakup of his marriage or the political climate of the times or his re-exploration of religion in the early 80s. His passionate convictions-- man, he knows how to put them into his art form.
Dylan was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 2012 by President Obama. To almost no one's surprise, he gave little comment about this achievement. Do you think we'll hear from him this time around?
Damon: Oh I really hope we will. He's been so unpredictable that I don't know what's going to happen, but I would love to hear what he has to say. I lived in Sweden for a year and I remember how hugely, hugely popular he was in Scandinavia. It seemed like he had greater respect there at the time (this is early 80s) than he had in the United States. I hope he goes and speaks, and I hope he has more insight to share with us in this rather fascinating time in history.