Monday, December 12, 2016

Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize Speech

Bob Dylan had a speech delivered last night at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm in recognition of his being given the 2016 Literature award. It is a requirement of the Nobel committee that a speech is delivered to receive the physical medal and check.

He didn't attend. The speech was delivered by the United States Ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji, which suggests he didn't give a lot of thought to who would deliver the speech beyond something like, "Are there any Americans in Sweden right now that we can send over?"

It's a decent speech that has the feel of being written not by Dylan but by a decent speech writer. It is not literature. It will not be read by many, again and again, the way Hayek's lecture or banquet speech still are.

I suspect, if Dylan were actually writing the speech, it might have started out something like this:
So the dynamite inventor is tossing out Swedish money so that we forget he invented boom.
An invention, like words, that can be used for good or bad. More bad comes from the words of plotters than from loud flash and boom. 
What the speech writer's speech really says is: "Yes, Bob will take the check."

Dylan's full speech is here.


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