Bob Dylan - finally and formally launched as a candidate for the Nobel prize for Literature, 1997.

After years of talk, Bob Dylan has now been formally launched as a candidate for the Nobel prize for literature.

According to the statutes of the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy, the following are qualified to nominate candidates:

  1. Members of the Swedish Academy and other academies, institutions and societies similar to it in membership and aims.
  2. Professors of history of literature or of languages at universities and university colleges.
  3. Nobel Laureates in Literature.
  4. Presidents of authors' organizations which are representative of the literary activities of their respective countries.
Since January 1996 a Norwegian based committee, in close cooperation with author John Bauldie of the United Kingdom and author Allen Ginsberg of the USA have organized the formal launch of the candidate.

Mr. Allen Ginsberg, a member of the American Academy of arts & Letters, writes:

- Dylan is a major American Bard & ministrel of the XX Century, whose words have influenced many generations throughout the world. He deserves a Nobel Prize in recognition of his mighty and universal powers.
The breakthrough came August 30th when Professor Gordon Ball of the Department of English and Fine Arts, Lexington, West Virginia, USA, on behalf of the Campaign Committee formally nominated Bob Dylan to the Nobel Prize of Literature. Professor Ball writes:

- Since the early 1960s Mr. Dylan in word and music has created an almost unlimited universe of art which has permeated the globe and in fact changed the history of the world. Though he is of course widely known as a musician, it would be an egregious mistake to neglect his extraordinary achievement in literature. In fact, music and poetry are linked, and Mr. Dylan's work has helped very significantly to renew that vital connection.

The art of poetry is perhaps fifteen thousand years old, it has survived principally through its oral strengths, not through the rather recent convenience of moveable type. In our modern era Bob Dylan has returned poetry to its primordial transmission by human breath and body, in his musical verse he has revived the traditions of bard, ministrel, and troubadour. His work is widely translated and performed around the world, but it exceeds by far the bounds of "popular" art (The inclusion of his lyrics in numerous academic textbooks of literature is merely one case in point).

The extraordinarily inventive symbolism of uch of his work deserves comparison with such world-celebrated poets as Arthur Rimbaud and William Butler Yeats, yet in catalyzing whole generations of youths, his oevre has shown more than any other poets in this century of power of words to alter lives and destinies ..."

Bob Dylan's lyrics are influenced by Baudelaire, Salmon and Rimbaud. In accordance with this, the Cabinet ministrer of Culture in France, Mr. Jack Lang, personally awarded Bob Dylan the high ranking prize of Commandeur Des Arts Et des Lettres in January 1990.

It is therefore natural for the Committee, in its work ahead, to try to gain support amongst professors/presidents of Authors' organizations in Southern Europe, which has fostered so many great authors, like the Italian Eugenio Montale and Camilo Jose Cela of Spain.

The Committee communicates also with several universities in Europe and the USA, such as Cambridge and the University of New Orleans.

In July 1985 Bob Dylan was invited to perform for members of the Soviet Writers Union at the behest of poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The American born Bob Dylan has his genes from Russian immigrants and his lyrics show expressions of the old Russian heritage of historical writers, such as Leo Tolstoij. The Committee is naturally corresponding with the Russian Writers Union in St. Petersburg for supporting the candidacy.

As Professor Gordon Ball writes, "The art of poetry has survived principally through its oral strengths." The Committee reminds you of the Nobel Academy's reason for awarding the prize to Sir Winston Churchill in 1953, "For his mastery of historical biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values."

Bob Dylan was informed of the Committee's work after his concert in Oslo Spektrum on July 18th.

Førde, Norway, 01.10.96

Campaign Committee

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