And that’s not to disparage Dylan’s work as anything less than it is. If any musician deserved to win it, it was him. The longevity, influence, and peaks of his career are immeasurable and unparalleled. Again, the most deserving musician by a mile.
Awarding Dylan the prize is wrong for a couple of reasons, though. The most obvious is that there were more deserving candidates in terms of the criteria. Milan Kundera and Haruki Murakami have both been around for decades and have missed out on the award in years prior. My vote would have gone to Philip Roth. The reason they’re more deserving ties in with the second error in giving Dylan the award.
This prize is given to those displaying excellence in LITERATURE. Not to take away from any of Dylan’s profound, zeitgeist-capturing lyrics, but they were written to be accompanied with sound. Divorcing these words from the music they’re set to is impossible, which is why the selection committee never should have done it. It discredits Dylan as a musician and it robbed the chance for actual authors to win.
This isn’t to put any credence to the significance of winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. Like awards shows have proven, it’s impossible to reward art appropriately when it’s insisted that there are winners and losers. This time though, the selection committee went beyond that and did a disservice to everyone involved.