My brother is married to an American and I've met and spoken to a number of our trans-atlantic cousins over the years and it's amazing how little they know about American music. They all love our shite like Pink Floyd and The Who but when it comes to Dylan or blues or proper country music they ain't got a clue. The one American band they all appear to love are Matchbox Twenty. The amount of Americans who have told me that Rob Thomas is the greatest songwriter ever is unbelievable. Music conversation ceases as soon as I'm confronted with things like this.
This says more about your brother and his wife.
The Nobel is a European prize. Where's Bob's Nobel?
The longer you don't give it to him, the more you devalue your own award (and the more ridiculous this argument is).
If we're going to generalize for the sake of an argument, what I've noted is some Europeans develop a Dylan-thing
like they would about collecting tulip bulbs, Hummel figurines, or their pet 'budgies.' Oh, sure they fixate and dote and stroke their own sense of Dylan-ology and know intricacies about sources. It's their merit badge in American cultural understanding. It's not as déclassé as McDonalds or DIsney. Dylan-ology has consistently held its cultural cache. Being Dylan-hip is like cultural gold bouillon to them ,they won't be left in ten years holding a worthless attachment to something like Huey Lewis, Dylan is a good and safe investment.
Here's the thing, their encyclopedic knowledge lacks any passion, any blood, what we get from just being American. Uncle Bob. He can piss us off, disappoint, leave us hanging, and then surprise and delight us again and again. He's as much a part of America as the Mississippi. We don't exactly take him for granted, we've just learned to accept him, like part of the family. "I'd gotten in the door, and from then on there was nothing anyone could do about it." Absolutely. He came to stay one day and never left, just like a stray relative.
From Hollywood to Washington DC from New York City to Hibbing Minnesota. From Woodstock to Harvard Square, Dylan is honored, remembered and feted on nearly a daily basis. The local daily paper in Boston has a column about what's going on, and they're always running this or that event that has a Dylan theme, honor, special or movie. More than once they've asked, "If you're wondering does Dylan idolatry ever take a day off? Clearly no!"