Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize Could be Stripped After Plagiarism Discovered

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This isn’t the first time that Bob Dylan has faced plagiarism accusations.  But this time, it could cost him his Nobel Prize for Literature.

Plagiarism accusations have long marred Bob Dylan’s legacy.  Defendants of the great American bard have pointed to common practice in folk music; critics like Joni Mitchell have accused him of being a flat-out fraud.

Now, there’s another debate: should Dylan get to keep his Nobel Prize for Literature?  On Tuesday, an astute observer accused Bob Dylan of lifting his Nobel Prize acceptance speech from SparkNotes.  And the evidence looks pretty damning.

Dylan’s speech included inspiration nods to three literary classics: The Odyssey, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Moby-Dick.

In the case of Moby-Dick, Slate author Andrea Pitzer discovered more than 20 lines ripped off from the study guide.  “I soon discovered that the Moby-Dick line Dylan dreamed up last week seems to be cobbled together out of phrases on the website SparkNotes, the online equivalent of CliffsNotes,” Pitzer wrote.

Pitzer started investigating after author Ben Greenman questioned one of the quotes from the Herman Melville classic.  Here’s a quick example of what Pitzer discovered in Dylan’s review:

Dylan: “Finally, Ahab spots Moby… Boats are lowered… Moby attacks Ahab’s boat and destroys it. Next day, he sights Moby again. Boats are lowered again. Moby attacks Ahab’s boat again.”

SparkNotes: “Ahab finally sights Moby Dick. The harpoon boats are launched, and Moby Dick attacks Ahab’s harpoon boat, destroying it. The next day, Moby Dick is sighted again, and the boats are lowered once more … Moby Dick again attacks Ahab’s boat.”

Accordingly, other passages bear similar resemblance.  And, signs of flat-out copying.  Bob Dylan has yet to respond to the accusations, though this looks like bad cut-n-paste.

All of which is raising difficult questions within the Swedish Academy, which determines the Nobel Prize winners.

For starters, the Nobel Prize comes with a $900,000 prize.  But Dylan repeatedly snubbed the award, even refusing to respond to notifications from the Academy initially.  He subsequently refused to attend this awards ceremony, with Patti Smith flubbing the acceptance performance instead.

Fast-forward to the present, and Dylan is looking like one giant asshole.  And, a great candidate for Nobel Prize removal.

Here’s his full, recorded speech.

15 Responses

  1. Stephen Douglas

    The person who wrote this is truly an ignorant oaf.

  2. Anonymous

    “This isn’t the first time that Bob Dylan has faced plagiarism accusations.”

    Sorry, but your story falls apart right there.

    Please mention one major artist that hasn’t faced plagiarism accusations.

    • Comeone

      LOL. One “major” artist? What does the popularity or success of an artist have to do with whether they are plagiarized?

      Bob Dylan couldn’t come up with an original idea if his life depended on it. Joni Mitchell spoke the truth about Bob. Lots of people in the industry know the truth. He’s been accused of plagiarizing since he started making music. There is even a song out there called ” I wrote mr. tambourine man” written by someone who met the real person who wrote the song.

      Bob “Dylan” comes from a long line of thieves and frauds. He’s like Einstein, another complete fraud. People like them cant help it. Its in their Jewish blood. They have no shame.

    • Counting

      Are you kidding? Joni Mitchell. Ray Charles. Prince. Van halen. Elvis Costello. .. The Jackson five. Gladys Knight.. Simon and Garfunkel. Willy Nelson… Tell me when to stop.

      And its not about facing a single accusation. Its about facing COUNTLESS accusations over decades. Are you living under a rock? Major Media have done stories about this.

    • Steve Steelman

      “Please mention one major artist that hasn’t faced plagiarism accusations.”

      1. Joni Mitchell.
      2. Vincent Van Gogh
      3. Sappho

  3. zing

    The Nobel Prize has little integrity. Giving Bob a prize; it’s a tacky way of attaching themselves–the committee–to elites of many stripes.

    When Obama received one it was embarrassing and awkward–that was the end of the Prize right there.

    • Look

      The story isn’t about the Nobel Prize Einstein.. Its about plagiarism.

  4. Fred Jaeger

    In the sporting world, when a medal winner is found to have been using drugs, the award is withdrawn.

    In literature, the equivalent of performance enhancing drugs is PLAGIARISM.

    I, and many others, are now asking you to withdraw Bob Dylan’s prize for literature. It appears he has been using unaccredited material for years and not only in literature. Many of his paintings have also been outright copies of the work of others.

    Letting Mister Dylan (Zimmerman) keep the prize tarnishes the Nobel Institution and cheapens the worth of every award ever presented to people who actually EARNED their awards.

    Please withdraw the award before the Nobel reputation is brought down even farther.

  5. Furgutt

    Keep the pressure on- you might even get him to admit that he once plagiarised someones opening move in a game of chess!

  6. Harris

    I don’t think that we should care too much about organisations who repeatedly reward those who either activate or advocate gratuitous killing sprees: Barack Obama [drone warfare]; Bob Dylan [supports Zionist brutality].

  7. Anonymous

    The should take the award away from him. Nothing would make Bob happier.

  8. Dan Usiskin

    I have always been suspicious of the Dylan output and persona. To many of his fans he is a god who can do no wrong. The plagiarism evidence has caused his supporters to twist logic into extreme gymnastic shapes in order to justify his actions. The main approach is to view ‘ Bob Dylan’ as a work of art created by (let’s say) Zimmerman, whose persona is an iconoclast, whose mode is to subvert conventional ideologies, artistic ethics and standards of artistic output. Another way of putting this is that he is taking the piss.
    This is all very well, but it should be noted that when he ‘borrows’ (without acknowledging), it’s always top-drawer stuff, thus enhancing his reputation as a profound poet/lyricist by those who don’t know (or don’t want to know).This plagiarised material gives gloss to the reams of obscurantist wordage, clunky (or downright cringe-making ) rhymes, banal non- sequiturs etc that make up the body of his lyrics

  9. Neow

    What does Your obsession with Bob Dylan or your opinion about what he represents have to do with him stealing other peoples’ work and passing it off as his own?…

    And ALSO…. Have you no SHAME? Jews like Bob Zimmerman and Albert Einstein have no shame. They steal from Gentiles who did the hard work and get all the money and glory. And people like you suck it all up… and even when they are found out, you still love them. That’s a sickness. That’s someone with no morals. That’s someone with no character. Teach your children well!