Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize lecture

08/06/2017

Bob Dylan has delivered his Nobel Prize lecture :

When I first received this Nobel Prize for Literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature. I wanted to reflect on it and see where the connection was. I’m going to try to articulate that to you. And most likely it will go in a roundabout way, but I hope what I say will be worthwhile and purposeful.

If I was to go back to the dawning of it all, I guess I’d have to start with Buddy Holly. Buddy died when I was about eighteen and he was twenty-two. From the moment I first heard him, I felt akin. I felt related, like he was an older brother. I even thought I resembled him. Buddy played the music that I loved – the music I grew up on: country western, rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythm and blues. Three separate strands of music that he intertwined and infused into one genre. One brand. And Buddy wrote songs – songs that had beautiful melodies and imaginative verses. And he sang great – sang in more than a few voices. He was the archetype. Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be. I saw him only but once, and that was a few days before he was gone. I had to travel a hundred miles to get to see him play, and I wasn’t disappointed. . .

John Donne as well, the poet-priest who lived in the time of Shakespeare, wrote these words, “The Sestos and Abydos of her breasts. Not of two lovers, but two loves, the nests.” I don’t know what it means, either. But it sounds good. And you want your songs to sound good.

When Odysseus in The Odyssey visits the famed warrior Achilles in the underworld – Achilles, who traded a long life full of peace and contentment for a short one full of honor and glory – tells Odysseus it was all a mistake. “I just died, that’s all.” There was no honor. No immortality. And that if he could, he would choose to go back and be a lowly slave to a tenant farmer on Earth rather than be what he is – a king in the land of the dead – that whatever his struggles of life were, they were preferable to being here in this dead place.

That’s what songs are too. Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page. And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer, who says, “Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story.”

I like that the meaning doesn’t have to matter.

Sometimes I don’t get the meaning of what I read or hear but I still like the way the words sound and the power they have to affect my feelings.

You can listen to Dylan delivering the lecture at the link above.


April 16 in history

16/04/2010

On April 16:

1178 BC; The calculated date of the Greek king Odysseus‘s return home from the Trojan War.

 

73 Masada, a Jewish fortress, fell to the Romans after several months of siege, ending the Jewish Revolt.

Dovecote at Masada, where ashes were probably stored — the openings have been shown to be too small for pigeons to fit.

1071 Bari faell to Robert Guiscard, ending Byzantine rule in Italy.

 

1346 The Serbian Empire was proclaimed in Skopje by Dusan Silni, occupying much of the Balkans.

1521 Martin Luther‘s first appearance before the Diet of Worms to be examined by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the other estates of the empire.

 

1582 Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founded the settlement of Salta, Argentina.

1682 John Hadley, British inventor, was born.

1728 Joseph Black, Scottish chemist, was born.

1746 The Battle of Culloden was fought between the French-supported Jacobites and the Hanoverian British Government.

The Battle of Culloden.jpg

1780 The University of Münster was founded.

1799 Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Mount Tabor – Napoleon drove Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre.

Bataille du mont-thabor.jpg

1853 The first passenger rail opened in India, from Bori Bunder, Bombay to Thane.

1862 American Civil War: The Battle at Lee’s Mills in Virginia.

1862 American Civil War: A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia became law.

1863 American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg – ships led by Union Admiral David Dixon Porter moved through heavy Confederate artillery fire on approach to Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Battle of Vicksburg, Kurz and Allison.png

1865 Henry George Chauvel, Australian general (, was born.

Painting of Man in khaki uniform wearing Sam Browne belt, two rows of ribbons and red tabs. Holding a slouch hat with emu feathers in one had, and a swagger tucked under the left arm.

1867 Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer (, was born.

1889 Charlie Chaplin, English actor, writer, songwriter, composer, and film producer, was born.

1892 The New Zealand Rugby Football Union was founded.

Rugby Union founded

1910 The University of Queensland was founded, with the names of the members of the first Senate published in the Queensland Government Gazette.

UQlogo.svg

1912  Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly an aeroplane across the English Channel.

1917 Lenin returnedto Petrograd from exile in Switzerland.

1918 Spike Milligan, Irish comedian, was born.

180

1919 – Gandhi organised a day of “prayer and fasting” in response to the killing of Indian protesters in the Amritsar Massacre by the British.

1921 Peter Ustinov, English actor, was born.

 

1922  Kingsley Amis, English author, was born.

1922 The Treaty of Rapallo, pursuant to which Germany and the Soviet Union re-established diplomatic relations, was signed.

 

1924 Henry Mancini, American composer, was born.

1925 The St Nedelya Church assault in Sofia – 150 people were killed and 500 were wounded.

 

1924 Rudy Pompilli, American musician (Bill Haley & His Comets), was born.

 

1927 Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger., was born.

Pope, 13 march 2007.jpg
 

1939 Dusty Springfield, English singer, was born.

1941 World War II: The Italian convoy Duisburg, was attacked and destroyed by British ships.

1941 – Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians threw the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox 1-0.

1943 Ruth Madoc, British actress, was born.

HideHi.jpg

1943  Dr. Albert Hofmann discovered the psychedelic effects of LSD.

1945 The Red Army began the final assault on German forces around Berlin.

1945 The United States Army liberated Nazi Sonderlager (high security) Prisoner of War camp Oflag IV-C (better known as Colditz).

 

1945 – More than 7,000 died when the German refugee ship Goya was sunk by a Soviet submarine torpedo.

1946 Syria gained independence.

1947  Texas City Disaster: An explosion on board a freighter in port caused the city of Texas City to catch fire, killing almost 600.

 One of Grandcamp’s anchors Texas City Memorial Park

1947 Bernard Baruch coined the term “Cold War” to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

 

1953 Queen Elizabeth II launched the Royal Yacht HMY Britannia.

HMY Britannia.jpg

1963Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. penned his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation.

Martin Luther King Jr NYWTS.jpg

1963 Jimmy Osmond, American pop singer (The Osmonds), was born.

 

1972 Apollo programme: The launch of Apollo 16 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Apollo-16-LOGO.png

1987 British Conservative MP Harvey Proctor appeared at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court charged with gross indecency.

1990 The “Doctor of Death”, Jack Kevorkian, went through with his first assisted suicide.

1992 The Katina P. ran aground off Maputo, Mozambique. 60,000 tons of crude oil spilt into the ocean.

2003 The Treaty of Accession was signed in Athens admitting 10 new member states to the European Union.

 

2004 – The super liner Queen Mary 2 embarks on her first trans-Atlantic crossing, linking the golden age of ocean travel to the modern age of ocean travel.

2007 Virginia Tech massacreSeung-Hui Cho, killed 32 and injured 23 before committing suicide.

Students gather to mourn after the shooting.

2008 Democratic senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama participated in the final Democratic primary debate of 2008.

  Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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