Mudcat Café message #3816519 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #160763   Message #3816519
Posted By: Steve Shaw
25-Oct-16 - 06:11 PM
Thread Name: Bob Dylan: Nobel laureate
Subject: RE: Bob Dylan: Nobel laureate
Well try applying that to other forms of art. It doesn't wash. Caravaggio reached out to you and grabbed you by the lapels. Shakespeare's masterly lyricism and humanity reaches out to people all over the world. Mozart had to make his operas funny, tuneful and riddled with human imperfections and dubious morality to get the crowds in, and his good taste and peerless understanding of his musical heritage turned them into masterpieces that will live forever. Beethoven was totally deaf by the time he wrote his greatest works, and each and every one of them pulls you right into his enforced private world. He wanted you in. John Betjeman's poems, apparently slight as they are, set out to crystallise for us the quirkiness of unpretentious middle England. They all succeeded as artists because they reached out. That's the pattern. An artist isn't an artist unless his priority is to communicate. You don't communicate by using our beautiful language to convolute words into disjointed forms that make it more difficult for people to cut through. If you're not crystallising ideas for people that they find hard to crystallise for themselves, you're failing as an artist. Dylan is offhand, dour, rude and uncommunicative. He's actually made those traits his trademark. He doesn't seem to care about his words and you'll just have to help yourself. He doesn't value them and, going from what he's said, he even recoils from them. There is little sign of any evolution of his art in forty years. But people stick with him because he's a cult. His supporters will defend him to the hilt, and one of those means of defence is to make him exclusive, rather mystical, and to tell demurrers that they "don't get it." The emperor may not quite be naked, but a good few threadbare patches are showing. In times to come, it could well be that discussion of the peculiarity of his cult status will outlive discussion of his artistic legacy.