Whodathunkit? The 2008 Pulitzer Prize awards have been announced, and for the first time ever, rock and roll gets a mention. I think they made a good choice for this ‘first’ — Bob Dylan was awarded a special citation “for his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” He’s now The Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Bob Dylan, and in my mind, it’s well-deserved. Why didn’t anyone thunkofit sooner?
For the Pulitzer roundup, the L.A. Times has the story, as does the AP. Most of the media lead off with Dylan’s win. The post title is from the Ottawa Citizen story, which observes, “Arguably the most influential songwriter of the 20th century, there is no reason Dylan’s shouldn’t be spoken of in the same breath as Pulitzer winners Ernest Hemingway, author Toni Morrison, poet Robert Frost and playwrights Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, and the other literary giants who’ve garnered the prize.” The article selects some of Dylan’s best-known lyrics to portray him as lover, protester, wordsmith, social commentator, theologian, and joker. Not sure how they overlooked prophet. By chance, I was listening to the title track from Highway 61 Revisited earlier today before I found out… it has to do with yesterday’s post. Oh, and while I was listening, I was reading an article by Dave Dunbar (PDF) where he quotes from “The Times they are A-Changin’.” The man has definitely permeated the culture.