Dylan acknowledges Nobel, unbunching many undies

PHOTO: Fred McDarrah via Simon Murphy, Flickr CC

PHOTO: Fred McDarrah via Simon Murphy, Flickr CC

Stand down, World.

Bob Dylan is fine. He seems happy to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He’s suitably grateful and probably attending the Dec. 10 ceremony in Stockholm. (Naturally, Dylan never makes a hard commitment, saying he’ll be there “if at all possible.”)

Dylan is one of those guys who makes news when he talks, but also when he doesn’t. It’s not hard to see why he favors silence.

Nevertheless, Dylan broke his silence in an exclusive interview with the London Telegraph’s Edna Gundersen last week. It’s a good read.

Meantime, the reaction to Dylan’s Nobel Prize in his hometown of Hibbing has been understated, but suitably warm. Hibbing High School posted the sign below, which is both seismic and subtle if you know the town’s long history of misunderstanding its famous son.

The sign honoring Hibbing High School alumnus Bob Zimmerman for his Nobel Prize. (PHOTO: Hibbing High School)

This sign honors Hibbing High School alumnus Bob Zimmerman for his Nobel Prize in October 2016. (PHOTO: Hibbing High School)

Nevertheless, I heard two of my traditional-aged college students this week casually assert in topical speeches the notion that Bob Dylan hates Hibbing. Though not currently true, perhaps never true, this story lingers, passed down by three generations of locals. Sure, the guy got famous, but he hates us. Easy to figure that way.

Of course, Dylan left Hibbing like a bat out of hell. So did most of his classmates. If it wasn’t the desire to see what the world had to offer, it was the simple economics of the Iron Range at the time. But like a lot of former Iron Rangers, time and distance created better appreciation of where he’s from, something evidenced many times over in recent writing and interviews.

The Iron Range struggles to handle nuance, even as it produces nuance in prodigious amounts.

Case in point: Bob Dylan.

Who’s the sand? Who’s the pearl? And who’s the oyster?

For those who are interested, efforts to erect a Bob Dylan statue or otherwise acknowledge Dylan are underway. An organizational meeting will happen today at 7 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church at 2028 Bob Dylan Drive (7th Ave E.) in Hibbing.


  1. Gerry Mantel says

    “Yeah … but not really.”

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