Sunday 31 December 2017

The Value of the Arts

Those who enrich our lives with the newfound art they forged.’

In his book Why Dylan Matters, Professor Richard F Thomas, writes of the poignant moment when Bob Dylan looked at his Nobel prize medal for literature. He was there April 1st 2017, for two performances at Stockholm’s Waterfront at the start of a 28 concert tour. 

The medal has the words by the poet Virgil inscribed round it - 
“And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery.”


‘Music and poetry that would prove to be enduring, memorable and meaningful to ages beyond their own. Dylan and the ancients explore the essential question of what it means to be human.’

You hurt the ones that I love best
And cover up the truth with lies.
One day you’ll be in the ditch,
Flies buzzin around your eyes,
Blood on your saddle.’

Idiot Wind, Bob Dylan
“When the arts are neglected and obscured, people suffer from dullness of ignorance.” Alan Raich
In their book The Arts and the Nation, Alan Raich, Alexander Moffat and John Purser examine the importance of all the arts to the health of our national life.  Many see the rise of imperial nationalism, of say Nazi Germany, as a imposition of unwanted values and a narrow prejudice. The antidote to unitary, conformist, bigoted nationalism is “state regionalism”  which is there in the arts of the Celts.  

“Which is why Scotland’s independence should explicitly and vigorously favour the constituent identities of the island archipelagos all the points of the compass, the diversities of language and culture, overlaps and contrast, all the territories of the nation.” Only possible through the arts. It is words, poetry, art and music that is left long after all the fluff and nonsense disappears....