14 October 2016

Catholic Dylan Doubters: I've Got You Now

I mean, this just beats all.  

First, I would of course understand if the Vatican Newspaper were to make no comment on the Nobel Literature Prize-winner Bob Dylan.  He's a poet and singer, and not a publicly-professed (as far as we know) Catholic.  In fact, if the Church were working as it ought to, run by faithful adult Catholics, I would be surprised if it did comment.

But it did. 

So my question to the Vatican press office is this: if you see fit to say anything, why say something so ungracious?  From the story at US News & World Report:

The Vatican newspaper says some of Bob Dylan's lyrics are beautiful, the work of a true artist who influenced entire generations. But it says he's just a songwriter and that "real" writers who know what it takes to produce a book might not be happy with this year's choice for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

L'Osservatore Romano, which frequently chimes in on pop culture, wrote a brief article about Thursday's award.

It said the Nobel committee certainly recognized Dylan's "great talent." But it said many of the artists inspired by Dylan's beautiful songs subsequently wrote "truly boring" lyrics. And it said the Nobel decision certainly "must not have pleased real writers, such as potential winners Don De Lillo, Philip Roth or Haruki Murakami, who know the enormous work that goes into writing a novel."

The paper did praise Dylan for having steered clear of all the trappings of celebrity culture, saying he followed "an invitation to not conform, and think with his own mind."

Bob Dylan not a "real writer"?  Puh-lease.  I could say much, but I will refrain. Though I will mention that I've heard lots of boring homilies and read some pretty boring exhortations lately, written by various persons, I'm sure.  I am beginning to think that Bob Dylan must indeed be a traditional Catholic, in order to earn the facile scorn of L'Osservatore Romano.  Maybe he loves the traditional Mass?

Hey, fellow Catholics, maybe it's time to give him another try.


c matt said...

Guess it all depends upon how the committee defines literature. If the committee giving the award think it's literature, it's literature. After all, it is their award.

Unknown said...

Through many dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

Bob Dylan, With God on Our Side

Perhaps the fine literary critics at OR will make the appropriate distinctions to unpack Dillon's last two lines in this stanza.

Anonymous said...

Now we'll have even more "Blowin' in the Wind" during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Thanks, Nobel judges.

Liam Ronan said...

Ah, Francis, Bishop of Rome:

"That long black cloud is comin' down
I feel I'm knockin' on heaven's door." (Knockin' on Heaven's Door, 1973, Bob Dylan, soundtrack 'Pat Garret and Billy the Kid')

Long-Skirts said...

I have always been impressed with what he has written. So be it!!!

thewarourtime.com said...

Satanists reward Bob Dylan for misleading his gullible fans. - https://twitter.com/HenryMakow/status/786741126631784448

Patricia said...

My attempts to leave a comment have not met with success......of seeing my comments published here. So, I will no longer leave comments...in fact I never see anyone else's comments.....Patricia in St. Louis

Liam Ronan said...

Incidentally, if the Nobel prize is to be awarded to songwriters and lyricists, I found Simon and Garfunkel infinitely more pointed and poignant than Dylan.

Elizanna said...

Bob Dylan (nee Zimmerman) is not Catholic but rather, Jewish. A number of years ago he flirted with the born-again variety of Christianity which he subsequently abandoned after an opportunistic attempt (IMO) to cash in on the gospel music craze. Dylan certainly deserves our prayers but not the Nobel Prize for literature. I am old enough to have been there when he appeared on the folk music scene, and it wasn't pretty. I do not understand people's misguided adoration of his "talent." His lyrics are mostly nonsensical, his music lines simplistic to the point of monotone droning, and let's just say that anyone who can actually sing and/or play guitar cringes when he opens his mouth. This unfettered praise must be part of the diabolical disorientation Sr. Lucia spoke about. For once, L'Osservatore Romano got it right.

Long-Skirts said...

L'Osservatore Romano doesn't like him because he speaks of Jesus and we all know Jesus was pre-Vatican II

Liam Ronan said...

"And when the radical priest
Come to get me released
We was all on the cover of Newsweek..." ('Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard' 1972, Paul Simon)

Lasserre deVillier said...

His lyrics are mostly nonsensical?

Suddenly I turned around and she was standing there,
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair.
She walked up to me so gracefully, and took my crown of thorns
Come in I'll give you, shelter from the storm!

The Bear said...

I think it's surprising to include a lyricist in the writing category, but it's their award, and they can tap the back of a cereal box if they want to.

nancyv said...

Bob Dylan, in an inexplicable way, has always been my pied piper. He's just too good to appreciate all at once. It has taken me a long time to appreciate him. He is that good.

PMKD said...

I wonder if Dylan/Zimmerman is one of those shape-shifting lizard Jews that Steve Skojec and Ann Barnhart talked about awhile back.

Liam Ronan said...

Bob Dylan was a combination multi-media artist, singer, and songwriter. If we had never heard his songs and seen his performances or videos but rather only been exposed to his 'poetry', in print, I dare say his 'poetry' would not sell.

If the Nobel Prize was for Multi-Media then I grant he might have been considered. But standing alone as 'literature' his 'writings' are mediocre at best. There are many other artists whose lyrics alone are sheer poetry.

What is the Oxford dictionary definition of 'literature'?

In any event, the Nobel Peace Prize went to Obama when he was barely one year in office.

What is the Oxford dictionary definition of 'peace'any way?

Anonymous said...

When the jester sang for the king and queen in coat he borrowed from James Dean (see the freewheeling Bob Dylan) and a voice that came from you and me.
Oh and while the king was looking down, The jester stole his thorny crown.
The courtroom was adjourned no verdict was returned.

The day the music died