Today Bob Dylan won the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature with the board honouring Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
The news has been met with some criticism from some traditional writers who are angry with the decision to pick a songwriter over novelists and traditional poets. But the majority agree this is a well-earned honour.
Bob Dylan made his first studio recording in 1963 and has since released 37 studio albums alongside countless compilations of live and unreleased material. Dylan has been a keen student of American song styles with his work taking in folk, rock and roll, rockabilly, gospel, country and jazz.
He initially created Woody Guthrie styled topical protest songs instantly winning widespread acclaim and adoration. This earned him the title “voice of a generation” a description he balked at. By 1964 he had abandoned politics for more complex and surreal imagery. When he started integrating these with hard rock and roll he created a sound and style that could be the most influential in 20th century music.
A complex and enigmatic character, Dylan has always been prolific, amassing a huge backlog of unreleased live and studio recordings, with many surpassing the quality of his officially released catalogue. As they are slowly made available to the public it has become clear that Bob Dylan has created one of the most important bodies of work within popular music.
The Nobel Prize for Literature has often been a magnet for controversy, facing criticism for who it has chosen, who it has left out and where the prize recipients have come from. Through all this it has remained one of the most prestigious literary awards and the list of past recipients is a who’s who of the world’s greatest writers.
The astounding quality and impact of Bob Dylan’s work surely earns him the right to win this award.
Open your ears and prepare to receive ideas, Ōtautahi, because another TEDx event is coming your way later this month.
TEDx is the locally organised, independent version of those TED talks you find on YouTube. If you’ve ever been blown away by one of those then TEDxChristchurch might be the event for you, and better yet, we’ve got a way for you to enjoy it at the library, specifically Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre.
Starting on Saturday, 22 October we’ll be screening talks from the 2013 and 2015 TEDxChristchurch events on our big screen at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre. Morning sessions will run 11am-12:30pm and afternoon sessions run 2-3pm.
So pull up a seat and listen to talks covering all sorts of topics – music, architecture, science, feminism, democracy, language and more.
Then on Saturday, 29 October we will be livestreaming this year’s TEDx event from the Isaac Theatre Royal. This year’s speakers again cover the spectrum of academics, entertainers, researchers, creators, and innovators.
We’ll then continue with the programme of 2013 and 2015 talk screenings until 5 November.
Roger Strong entered this photo of his grandparents’ wedding in the 2015 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt: “Frederick George Howard Bach Strong marries Ethel Theresa Gundry. The wedding toook place in Christchurch, August 20th, 1902 – Springfield Road somewhere? The Strong family is on the groom’s side. The bride’s father was William Hickley Gundry, a prominent auditor and accountant in Christchurch. His uncle was Dr Gundry one of the first settlers along with his father Samuel Gundry. The man with the beard at the back, third to the left of the groom is the groom’s father – at that time Librarian of the Canterbury Public Library – the Strong’s lived in the library house on Cambridge terrace.”
But what is the story behind the figure cut out in the back row?
Christchurch City Libraries has been running an annual Photo Hunt in conjunction with the city’s Heritage Week since 2008. The 2016 Photo Hunt is running again from 1 – 31 October. During the month of October we will be posting a series of images from earlier Photo Hunts.