It is no surprise that whenever an exception is made in the awarding of Nobel Peace prizes that it favours the white majority and their ideology. Thus, the youngest Nobel prize winner in history for the Peace category just happens to be a Muslim woman that was oppressed by militant Muslim men in the field of education by a seemingly remarkable coincidence. However, the critic sees that it is no wonder why she seemed like a significant heroine to the Islamophobic West, when the real heroes of peace were in fact those that opposed the pointless and unnecessary wars of the Westerners. And now, when an exception is made in the category for literature, it is no surprise that it is for an old white man from America.
Everybody knows that Bob Dylan is a musician and a song-writer. If one remarks that his work is not Literature, Derrida-obsessed fanatics would no doubt point out that Literature and music and songs all share affinities. They are all based in sounds and the music of words. They all involve writing. Even listening could be likened to reading (although Derrida would himself object to the way that writing is falsely seen as outside of the text and invisible and thus the Derrida supporter might point out that the Nobel award does away with the false distinction in an act of representational liberation).
I am not a fan of Derrrida’s pedantic intellectualisation. I only look at the field of practices and the field of power. However much anybody listens to a Bob Dylan song (which I do not like, as the music which is its life blood is not to my taste), they are not reading it. He is not encouraging reading. He is encouraging people to listen to music. He is not creating readers but appreciators of music. Some might read his lyrics, of course. But why not poetry then, instead of music? Why not just the pure music of words? The equation of a song with Literature is to crush all other forms of representation under the idea of the TEXT, the text of the white American man. While no form of representation is pure and borrows elements from others, the privileging of the text above all else is ludicrous and the way that the West, built upon the Bible, has tried to crush resistance across the globe. I watch Hindi films and the song lyrics there, built more purely on poetry and integrated with the stories of film are much more ‘Literature’ than a Bob Dylan song. They appeal to a much wider audience than Bob Dylan with his flagging record sales – Hindi film is the most watched in the world. Where is the prize of the Hindi song lyricists?
My point is that music itself cannot be subordinated to the Word. It has its own life. There have been scientific theories that language is itself based on music and it is the core of all representation, the precursor to sense. It has the privilege. It is not Literature but the essence of meaning, the greater meaning. I will just end this short and undeveloped statement by remarking that I have written novels, short stories, poetry and songs and composed and made music on a music synth and sung to produce my own home-made album. And I have never considered my own songs or music to be literature.