The Vandals Took the Handles

In honoring Bob Dylan with the Nobel Prize for Literature, a member of the committee, Horace Engdahl, said that Dylan “gave back to poetry its elevated style, lost since the romantics.” Dalrymple finds that a little hard to believe:

So here is the recent history of “the elevated style” in English poetry according to the Swedish Academy: Wordsworth and Coleridge, and then a fallow period of nearly a century and a half until Dylan arrived, like a Daniel come to judgment. No Tennyson, no Longfellow, no Browning (husband or wife), no Matthew Arnold, no Swinburne, no Gerard Manley Hopkins, to name but a small handful. Comment is redundant.

Read the piece here

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