Kurt Vonnegut Once Called Nobel Prize Winner Bob Dylan "The Worst Poet Alive"
When Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016, more than a few people were shocked. After all, he is not an author but a songwriter — and a commercially successful one at that. And while many of his fans consider his songs to be poetry, others are not impressed by his lyrics.
As it turns out, the late, great Kurt Vonnegut counted himself among that latter group of people. Vonnegut is the author of 14 novels, including Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.
In a Nov. 1991 interview with Hustler (as re-discovered by Pitchfork ), Vonnegut, then 69 years old, shared his true feelings about Bob Dylan's poetry.
Spoiler alert: he wasn't impressed.
What asked about his musicale tastes, the author said: "We'll start from the back and work forward. I hate rap. The Beatles have made a substantial contribution. Bob Dylan, however, is the worst poet alive. He can maybe get one good line in a song, and the rest is gibberish."
Vonnegut isn't the only person unimpressed by Bob Dylan's lyrics. While some commentators have applauded the Swedish Academy for "redefining the boundaries" of literature, others are unsure if Dylan was the right artist to make such a statement. It seems that not even Dylan is overly impressed by the honor, as the Swedish Academy acknowledged that the musician has ignored their calls and has yet to respond to the honor. Whether or not he'll show up to the prize ceremony on Dec. 10 remains a mystery.