Reactions to Dylan Award: Poetic Genius or 'Trumpification' of Nobel Prize?

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This file photo taken on February 27, 2002 shows US singer Bob Dylan (L) performing at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
This file photo taken on February 27, 2002 shows US singer Bob Dylan (L) performing at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.Credit: Hector MATA, AFP

Reactions to the announcement Thursday that musician Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature were mixed, drawing glowing praise from many, and artistically worded derision from others.

So, is Dylan a rare messenger of the power of poetry, or did he only win thanks to "senile, gibbering hippies?"

Salman Rushdie: "From Orpheus to Faiz, song & poetry have been closely linked. Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition. Great choice."

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier: The Swedish Academy has made "a courageous decision by which it again breaks the genre boundaries once again this year. It honors one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, who like no other has reached millions of people around the world with texts and profound truths."

South African author Max du Preez: "Sorry intellectual snobs, I'm with Bob."

Actress Mia Farrow: "Inspired choice by the Nobel Prize panel. Congratulations Bob Dylan and THANK YOU for every song."

German literary critic Denis Schenk: "Now and again, the Academy has a little 'fun.' Bob Dylan's award is just as much a joke as Dario Fo's. The best thing to do is to laugh."

Musician Stevie Van Zandt: "Congratulations Bob! You made all our lives better. Thank you for the warning about what was to come (Subterranean Homesick Blues)."

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini: "The Nobel for literature to Bob Dylan! The daddy of songwriting all over the world. The messenger of ideals for entire generations."

Literary critic Per Svensson in Swedish daily Sydsvenskan: "This is a 'trumpification' of the Nobel Prize. It's very depressing," he says, citing that the Academy skipped U.S. authors like Philip Roth or Joyce Carol Oates.

Author Irvine Welsh: "I'm a Dylan fan, but this is an ill-conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies."

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