For at least a moment or two, Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize for Literature set the world of Twitter abuzz. The announcement inspired a bevy of reactions.
Some welcomed the choice as an acknowledgment that Dylan redefined what literature means in the late 20th and early 21st centuries:
Putting aside world & will now listen to Bob Dylan—The Bootleg Series, Vols 1-3/ And a personal fave, Someone’s Got a Hold of My Heart— Katrina vandenHeuvel (@KatrinaNation) October 13, 2016
From Orpheus to Faiz,song & poetry have been closely linked. Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition.Great choice. #Nobel— Salman Rushdie (@SalmanRushdie) October 13, 2016
Finally the world gets something right: Mazel Tov to my beauty, Bob Dylan. #NobelPrize— Jennifer Gilmore (@jenwgilmore) October 13, 2016
Some purists scoffed at the idea that the Nobel would go to someone who wrote songs, not novels, and only one memoir and a mystifying collection of poetry.
I totally get the Nobel committee. Reading books is hard.— Gary Shteyngart (@Shteyngart) October 13, 2016
Have they inducted Don De Lillo into the Rock n Roll hall of fame alongside Def Leppard and Slayer yet?— Irvine Welsh (@IrvineWelsh) October 13, 2016
I am almost as despairing about #Dylan winning the #NobelPrize for lit as I was abt CRASH winning the Oscar for best picture. But not quite.— Meghan Daum (@meghan_daum) October 13, 2016
Some took it as an opportunity to comment on the current political campaign:
Bob Dylan a very welcome respite/ interregnum interrupting cascade of T***p grotesquerie. the Dylan of 1960s would’ve been scathing of T***p— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) October 13, 2016
If only young #BobDylan voted pic.twitter.com/UImx1UxLMG— Chris Steller (@chris_steller) October 13, 2016
Some people took this to be bad news for Philip Roth:
We can only imagine the great novelist Philip Roth’s delight at the news that Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. #Dylan— Allison Pearson (@allisonpearson) October 13, 2016
Some took the Nobel Committee’s decision as a personal slight:
Bob Dylan is NOT The Greatest Living American Writer. See you in hell, Zimmerman!— Neal Werepollack (@nealpollack) October 13, 2016
Here at the Forward, we see the good and the bad but mostly the good.