At the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, daily newspaper front pages from around the world are posted, and when Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize was announced, almost every one of the more than 50 newspapers heralded Mr. Dylan’s accomplishment, writing about him clearly as a musician, poet and writer like no other.
George F. Will referred to this combination of talents and its acknowledgment as “Dylan Derangement Syndrome” [op-ed, Dec. 11] and placed Mr. Dylan’s accomplishments in the hands of “senile, gibbering hippies,” as quoted from Irvine Welsh.
Mr. Will, why not recognize a person who composes in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, with strong influences of symbolist poets, who says what no one else is able to or does say, whose lyrics can take one’s breath away and yet who remains one of the last people to take himself too seriously? His songs number more than 350, capturing the significance of both the moment and its eternity, blending folk with rock and numerous other musical genres. Not every song works, not every attempt succeeds, not every song is worthy of the Nobel Prize in literature. Some lyrics are unfathomable, at least to me right now, while others spark emotions and feelings running so deep that there are no rivals to what Mr. Dylan is able to reap.
But then, Mr. Will, just which novelist has written a perfect canon, each one worthy of garnering the Nobel Prize?
Joel I. Cohen, Rockville