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Bob Dylan Follows Jean-Paul Sartre’s Existential Lead

October 21, 2016 , , ,



The French writer Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature on 22 October, 1964. He refused to accept the honor, as he had done with all honors in the past.  He wrote a detailed letter to the jury in Stockholm that arrived after they had confirmed his prize.  He listed personal reasons as well as objective reasons. He basically thought writers should write without any undue influence from any institution.  In his own words:

“The writer who accepts an honour of this kind involves as well as himself the association or institution which has honoured him,” he said at the time. “The writer must therefore refuse to let himself be transformed into an institution, even if this occurs under the most honourable circumstances, as in the present case.”

This existential Frenchman was the only literature laureate to refuse the honor until now. It appress that Bob Dylan has not returned the calls of the esteemed Swedish Academy since he was awarded the same prize.  Today he erased a mention of the prestigious prize from his website.  It appears that our famous existential poet is declining and going one step beyond his predecessor by making no comment on the matter. I think this is a perfect response from this rebel recluse who does exactly as he pleases.  He can well afford, like Mr Sartre before him, to rest on his hefty laurels.

This refreshing point of view on celebrity is blowin’ in the wind when the celebration of celebrities has become a full blown obsession.  Reality television and I don’t know what else, has brought us to worship fame for itself in the weirdest ways.  I have been listening to Bob’s music almost non stop this week, rediscovering the genius of his impressive timeless lyrics.  I have seen him perform three times, and am mighty glad I got that opportunity.  He is our troubadour, and he don’t need no stinking prizes.  I am highly amused at his attitude.  What do you think, gentle reader? He may still decide to show up at the ceremony.

What do you think?

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Bob has always been inscrutable. Some things never change 😉



October 21, 2016

It is true to form. I agree, Trent. Thanks for chiming in.

Liked by 1 person

Pamela Morse

October 21, 2016

I think Sartre makes a point, but when the Nobel Prize comes knocking on your door (without any work other than writing on his part) then one should say thank you, put it on the shelf and go back to the keyboard.


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

October 29, 2016

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