David Bennun quotes

  • How heartening it is to know that Ken Loach is still out there making committed, polemical cinema, so long as you don't have to watch it. Never go near a Ken Loach film unless you're trying to sleep with a socialist. If you are, however, Land And Freedom should do the trick.
    -- David Bennun

    #Sleep #Land #Long

  • Pop music, across its countless iterations, is a vast, amazing, thrilling art form. All life is in it. It stands for itself. The same is true of literature, but nobody feels compelled to toss Philip Roth a grammy just to prove it.
    -- David Bennun

    #Art #Literature #Toss

  • Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate. A new fact so shocking that even the year's most notable deaths have not outdone it for the volume (in both senses) of instant reaction; so divisive, it makes Brexit, the Labour leadership and the US Presidential election seem lesser ruptures.
    -- David Bennun

    #Years #Presidential #Rupture

  • All doctrine is ultimately the death of joy - even when the doctrine is the elevation of the light above the serious, because joy is too varied and elusive ever to confine itself to one or the other.
    -- David Bennun

    #Light #Joy #Doctrine

  • [I have] my own view about [Bob] Dylan's Nobel prize. Which is, I'm firmly in the Nay camp. I do think the award is a category error, but that's not why. Not in itself. What bothers me is the perceived status of the categories. If pop lyricists were routinely considered for the prize as are authors and poets, I'd still think it mistaken, but I wouldn't much care. But I am quite certain that Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, for example, both at the very least Dylan's equals as writers, have never been in the running and never will be.
    -- David Bennun

    #Running #Thinking #Views

  • The [Nobel] award [of Bob Dylan] is no affront to literature; it is an insult to pop music. It is a condescending ruffle of pop's hair while handing it a lollipop. An act of beaming condescension whose transparent message is: "This one guy, and just this one guy, he's so good, he transcends his trivial idiom and elevates himself into our significant one."
    -- David Bennun

    #Awards #Hair #Guy

  • The point is not that [Bob] Dylan doesn't need a Nobel to attest to how good he is (although he doesn't.) It's that pop music, pop music of any kind, doesn't need the Nobel committee to damn it with the faint praise of such an award to its sole chosen representative.
    -- David Bennun

    #Awards #Needs #Bob

  • Look, dear! How adorable. When pop music tries its very hardest, it can be almost as good as Sven Hassel.
    -- David Bennun

    #Adorable #Trying #Looks

  • There's no reason - not yet, anyway - to believe [Bob] Dylan himself endorses such an attitude; or that he would think of himself as a more profound and worthy recipient than, for instance, any of the brilliant Motown or girl-group lyricists who are more likely to be awarded a Nobel prize for chemistry than for literature. Whether there is more truth and humanity in his best lyrics than in Abba's, or less, is unquantifiable, and it would be meretricious to attempt such a calculation in contesting an argument he has been dragged into.
    -- David Bennun

    #Girl #Attitude #Believe

  • The same is true of ranking him thus against any work of literature. [Bob Dylan] has been made, through no fault of his own, the object of odious tokenism.
    -- David Bennun

    #Literature #Tokenism #Bob

  • On another front of the category-error argument are the insufferable fogeys who think the [Nobel] award is an outrage upon literature itself. That the problem is not simply a mistake may have been made about definitions, but that awful vulgarians are encroaching upon their sacred places. [Bob] Dylan, to them, is the harbinger of the low-culture mob; the latest in an unending number of final straws, or the thin end of a wedge that never seems to get thicker.
    -- David Bennun

    #Mistake #Thinking #Numbers

  • Lyrics should not need to stand on their own; many of [Bob] Dylan's do, but in common with other great lyricists, he has written plenty that falters on the page but soars in song.
    -- David Bennun

    #Song #Needs #Bob

  • Without music, there is not the faintest chance [Bob Dylan] words would now be garlanded as they are.
    -- David Bennun

    #Bob #Chance #Dylan

  • The Yeas are relatively uniform. They view [Bob] Dylan as one of the greatest artists of his or any era, who deserves to be taken as seriously as any litterateur. Where they vary is in some cases not even accepting the distinction: Dylan in their eyes is a literary titan, and the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature is simply official affirmation of what they already knew.
    -- David Bennun

    #Taken #Eye #Artist

  • The general sentiment among the Yeas is, no accolade is too high for their man; and the Nobel being, literally, the gold standard among prizes, it is surely his [Bob Dylan] due.
    -- David Bennun

    #Men #Gold #Bob

  • First of all, there are those who simply don't care for [Bob] Dylan, or at least, don't think he's that great. Some of the former sound very much as if they are afflicted with the kind of contrarianism inevitably bred by cultural orthodoxy - Dylan is overwhelmingly rated a giant and a marvel, the acclamation of whom they feel to be de rigueur; and rather than judge for themselves, they embrace the opposite view.
    -- David Bennun

    #Thinking #Views #Opposites

  • Plenty more of the Nays sound perfectly sincere, though. They may genuinely dislike [Bob] Dylan; they may even enjoy or admire him, but just don't think he's all that. Fair enough. The reaction of such folk seems to be chiefly amazement tinged with befuddlement: they've given him what? You're kidding me.
    -- David Bennun

    #Thinking #Sound #May

  • The [Nobel] prize is for literature.[Bob] Dylan is a songwriter. Here is where the argument starts to get interesting, because here is where it is no longer a question of either cultural orthodoxy or personal taste.
    -- David Bennun

    #Interesting #Literature #Bob

  • I have seen quite a few folk whom I know to be both fair minded and, as it happens,[Bob] Dylan fans, take up cudgels for this position. To them, it's not necessarily that Dylan doesn't merit the highest honour. It's that he doesn't merit this specific highest honour [Nobel prize], in the way a champion pole vaulter shouldn't be given a medal for the long jump. It is in this group that the Wahey!s are mainly to be found, firing off jests, or mock solemnly reciting Dylan's sillier lyrics as if these are entirely representative of his oeuvre.
    -- David Bennun

    #Long #Champion #Fans

  • The question now becomes about defining your terms. What is literature? Unless we allow it to encompass the oral tradition from which it grew, which means taking it back to Homer and beyond, it demands the written word - poetry and prose. [Bob] Dylan is no slouch at the written word, both in its own right, and transcribed from his lyrics, which have often been acclaimed as poetry and may well stand up as such. But that is not his métier.
    -- David Bennun

    #Mean #Oral Tradition #Literature

  • [Bob Dylan] is principally a recording artist, and if he weren't, it is unthinkable he would have had such an impact. He is to be heard first and read second. Well, what about plays, you could reasonably ask. Is [William] Shakespeare not great literature? Yes, obviously: but his work is great literature even to those who have never known it performed. The same is evidently not true of Dylan.
    -- David Bennun

    #Artist #Impact #Play

  • [Bob] Dylan may, for whatever reasons of his own, do nothing of the sort with the Nobel committee. Up there on Parnassus, that is his unquestionable prerogative. But here on my anthill, it's mine to say: oh, do piss off, you ineffable snobs.
    -- David Bennun

    #May #Bob #Reason

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