Did Bob Dylan Swipe His Nobel Lecture from SparkNotes?

bob dylan nobel prize

Photo by Alberto Cabello

Nobel Prize winner and master troll Bob Dylan is at it again. Dylan received the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” During his official lecture on June 4 (listen below), the songwriter said that he was influenced by three major literary works: The Odyssey, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Moby-Dick.

Astute observers quickly discovered that one of the Moby-Dick ‘quotes’ in Dylan’s speech doesn’t actually exist in the novel. Shortly thereafter, Slate discovered that the quote in question – as well as parts of Dylan’s description of the book – appear to have originated not from Herman Melville’s masterpiece, but from the online SparkNotes version of the classic.

According to Slate‘s comparison of Dylan’s speech and the relevant texts, quotes like “Some men who receive injuries are led to God, others are led to bitterness” contain key phrases that originate from SparkNotes’ condensed interpretations of Moby-Dick. Read the complete comparison at Slate.

Listen to Dylan’s Nobel Lecture here:

Listen to the best
podcast in music.

Subscribe to the Culture Creature podcast:
Apple Podcasts | Android | Stitcher | RSS