Xavier Escribano: “Bob Dylan is much more than a Nobel Prize winner”.
Some of Bob Dylan’s songs were playing while Xavier Escribano, one of our Professors from the Faculty of Humanities, described Robert Allen Zimmerman’s background, this was Dylan’s real name. Dylan is a US singer-songwriter who started to write songs in 1962. More than 50 years on the impact he has made is clear, particularly since he was recently awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Paideia student group invited Escribano, who defines himself as a fan of the singer-songwriter, to show all the students and lecturers/professors attending that Bob Dylan is a “top writer who you keep coming back to again and again until you die”. In fact, the singer is constantly on a universal tour. His work includes more than 40 albums, and he wrote 90% of the songs on them himself. Out of these 40, three are double platinum, which means that more than 20 million copies have been made of them. More than 10 are diamond albums, which means 10 million copies were made. These figures demonstrate that he really is “a singer-songwriter who has influenced a lot of people from many generations around the world”.
Escribano described Dylan’s Jewish origins, “he is familiar with and has assimilated the Sacred Texts (of Judaism)”, which is reflected in the lyrics of some of his songs. His contemporaries assure us that at the beginning he was like a sponge, capable of memorising all the songs he heard. “I don’t buy any albums”, he said. In the 60s he formed a connection with folk music because his lyrics were full of stories, of fate and destiny, it was the music of the poor and the helpless. Rock had always seemed to him to be full of superficial lyrics.
Dylan presents popular culture through high literary content: his lyrics and authentic poems contain references and images from Dante, Homer, Petrarca, and Baudelaire, etc.
Professor Escribano invited professors and students to listen to two songs, which he provided the original lyrics for in English as well as their translation into Catalan. The first one was 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall’ from the album "Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" from 1963 and Forever Young', from the album "Planet Waves", from 1974. After having commented on them, he said that “giving Dylan a Nobel Prize is not inconceivable, he has been on the list since 1996. His lyrics have become hymns for generations, after him it has become more difficult to write poetry.”