#BobDylan Wins The #Nobel #Prize For #Literature: “Art is a river that we drink from but do not own”

How To Teach Literature: The Role of Close Reading In Teaching English Language Learners To Read Complex Texts by [Baker, Thomas Jerome]

Press Release

13 October 2016 – The Nobel Prize in Literature 2016: The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016 is awarded to Bob Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, and I may be one of the few people on Earth who was not surprised, not shocked, not astonished by the news. Really. I wrote about Bob Dylan in Chapter 2 of this book. I noted that if he didn’t win in 2016, then he would win in 2017. If not 2017, then 2020 would be all right.

Bob Dylan winning the Noble Prize for Literature was clearly inevitable. In his case, it’s sooner rather than later. Wait. It’s later rather than sooner. Did you know that Bob Dylan was nominated for the Nobel every year since 1996? It took the Nobel Prize Committee 20 years to have the courage to recognize that Bob Dylan had redefined the notion of what literature is.

What is literature?

In my book, How To Teach Literature, I answer that question:

If what we read entertains us, speaks to us, or makes us aware of the human condition, then it is literature. With Bob Dylan finally winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, my definition is not even debatable. As Dylan has written, “The Times They Are A’Changing.” Teachers of literature need to change with the times and broaden our horizons on what we consider to be, “literature.”

How to best teach literature? That’s what my book is about. Specifically, I share my knowledge about teaching literature, gained from 15 years teaching experience. This book is intended for students of English Language and Literature Teaching. New and experienced teachers will find it a useful resource also.

Informed by theory and practice, it explores current approaches of teaching close reading of complex texts. It is applicable to instructional settings from middle school to university. It promotes integrated teaching of the four skills. Critical literacy is promoted for engaging with and interpreting literary and informational texts. Readers will have opportunities to engage with poetry, fiction, and informational texts.

What if you disagree with Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature? What if you disagree with my definition of literature? Then, in that case, both Bob Dylan and myself would hope that you treat us kind.

In the words of Bob Dylan, “I can write you poems, make a strong man lose his mind / I’m no pig without a wig, I hope you treat me kind.”

High Water (For Charley Patton)

High water risin’ – risin’ night and day
all the gold and silver are being stolen away
big joe turner lookin’ east and west

from the dark room of his mind
he made it to kansas city
twelfth street and vine
nothing standing there
high water everywhere
High water risin’, the shacks are slidin’ down
folks lose their possessions – folks are leaving town
bertha mason shook it – broke it
then she hung it on a wall
says, “you’re dancin’ with whom they tell you to
or you don’t dance at all.”
it’s tough out there
high water everywhere
I got a cravin’ love for blazing speed
got a hopped up mustang ford
jump into the wagon, love, throw your panties overboard
i can write you poems, make a strong man lose his mind
i’m no pig without a wig
i hope you treat me kind
things are breakin’ up out there
high water everywhere
High water risin’, six inches ‘bove my head
coffins droppin’ in the street
like balloons made out of lead
water pourin’ into vicksburg, don’t know what i’m going to do
“don’t reach out for me,” she said
“can’t you see i’m drownin’ too?”
it’s rough out there
high water everywhere
Well, george lewis told the englishman, the italian and the jew
“you can’t open your mind, boys
to every conceivable point of view.”
they got charles darwin trapped out there on highway five
judge says to the high sheriff,
“i want him dead or alive
either one, i don’t care.”
high water everywhere
The cuckoo is a pretty bird, she warbles as she flies
i’m preachin’ the word of god
i’m puttin’ out your eyes
i asked fat nancy for something to eat, she said, “take it off the shelf –
as great as you are a man,
you’ll never be greater than yourself.”
i told her i didn’t really care
high water everywhere
I’m getting’ up in the morning – i believe i’ll dust my broom
keeping away from the women
i’m givin’ ’em lots of room
thunder rolling over clarksdale, everything is looking blue
i just can’t be happy, love
unless you’re happy too
it’s bad out there
high water everywhere
Writer(s): Bob Dylan

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About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
This entry was posted in Authors, book reviews, Debates, Education, EFL, Higher Education Teaching & Learning, Music, Reading, Reflections, Teaching Tips, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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