American author Stephen King has come to the defence of Bob Dylan’s Nobel prize for literature, saying that those who complain about his win “either don’t understand or it’s just a plain old case of sour grapes”.
He wrote against literary authors such as Gary Shteyngart and Irvine Welsh who have scorned the singer’s award.
According to King, no other musician has had such an impact on popular culture or remained so influential for so long as Dylan, reports independent.co.uk.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said: “People complaining about his Nobel either don’t understand or it’s just a plain old case of sour grapes.”
Talking directly to novelist Gary Shteyngart, he added: “I’ve seen several literary writers who have turned their noses up at the Dylan thing, like Gary Shteyngart. Well, I’ve got news for you, Gary – There are a lot of deserving writers who have never gotten the Nobel prize. And Gary Shteyngart will probably be one of them.”
When the news of the award broke, Shteyngart tweeted: “I totally get the Nobel committee. Reading books is hard.”
He was not alone in the literary world; a legion of authors were disappointed with the decision, including Hari Kunzru and Irvine Welsh, the latter writing that Dylan’s win was an “ill-conceived nostalgia award” bestowed by “senile, gibbering hippies”.
Author Joanne Harris tweeted: “Is this the first time that a back catalogue of song lyrics has been judged eligible for a literary prize'”
King said the musician, whose laureateship was announced in October, had “opened the door for a lot of people”. “I would argue that without Dylan, Paul Simon maybe ends up in the Brill Building, writing songs like Hey Schoolgirl like he did in the beginning,” he told the magazine.