Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize for Literature last year, and his decision to skip the ceremony to accept his award was widely-publicized, criticized, and analyzed. While that choice was emblematic of much of Dylan’s career and personality, each recipient still must accept the award in a public manner in order to get the benefits that go along with such an honor – namely the sweet sweet bank deposit of just short of a million dollars. It’s not like Dylan really needs the money, but it’s also not an amount that any sane person would leave on the table just because they don’t like public speaking.
During his Nobel Prize Lecture at the Swedish Academy in Los Angeles earlier this month, Dylan gave a speech that heavily referenced multiple pieces of literature — including Moby Dick, The Odyssey and All Quiet on the Western Front. Which would be fine, if Dylan had referenced these works of art directly with exact quotes from the work. But now there are allegations, led by some research by Andrea Pitzer over at Slate that make the situation seem otherwise.