As we wrote yesterday, Bob Dylan finally gave his acceptance speech for his Nobel Prize in Literature yesterday, which was required of him if he wanted to obtain the prize money. We expected that he would give the speech eventually; what we weren’t betting on was the public’s lack of understanding of what “literature” is.
As a result of the speech, online searches for the word on the Merriam-Webster website increased 383 percent, which is both a sad and an interesting insight into the level of intelligence of the general population. The increase was so staggering that Merriam-Webster dedicated a whole page to explaining literature.
We get it; trying to read books on a consistent basis in a world with plentiful distractions is difficult. But even if you don’t read, at least try to do the bare minimum and know what reading is. To assist those who somehow evaded the third grade, here is the most applicable Merriam-Webster definition of literature in regards to the Bob Dylan Nobel Prize: “Writings in prose or verse, especially writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest.”
The description doesn’t have to be so long-winded. Literature is, put plainly and simply, writing. Books, songs, poems, you name it. It’s all literature. We figure that most of you know that, but we’re not taking it for granted, given the statistic we’re reporting. In the spirit of Fahrenheit 451, if you still don’t understand literature, the only thing left to do is destroy it.
Stay in school, kids, and enjoy a Dylan performance from the Paste Cloud below.