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Bob Dylan Accused Of Plagiarizing Nobel Prize Lecture From Moby-Dick

by Matt   Jun 14, 2017 12:12 PM EDT

  ( Frazer Harrison/Getty Images )

For all you non-book lovers out there, Moby-Dick is an absolutely epic novel written by Herman Melville. The book was published way back in 1851 and the year is very key. The plot of the story is about a ship captain by the name of Ahab who is obsessed with a massive white whale named Moby-Dick. But Ahab had very good reasons to hate the whale as it had previously bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. Now the book came out in 1851 and it wasn't received well. In fact, the epic story was a failure until the 20th century. So way after Herman Melville passed away, the story finally started to gain the reputation as a Great American Novel.

Bob Dylan is one of the most influential people of the 20th century. The Folk rock singer-songwriter was responsible for so many songs that spoke about social and political issues. Last October, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Now he did decline to attend the December ceremony, but he did attend the ceremony in June.

So earlier this month on June 4th, he attended the Nobel Prize Ceremony. The Ceremony was held in in Los Angeles where he spoke to many eager listeners. All was going well for Dylan, who accepted the $900,000 award that accompanies the Nobel Prize, until earlier this week. That is when, according to a new piece from Andrea Pitzer on Slate, Dylan's speech became a little too familiar.

Now according to her article on Slate:
"During his official lecture recorded on June 4, laureate Bob Dylan described the influence on him of three literary works from his childhood: The Odyssey, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Moby-Dick. Soon after, writer Ben Greenman noted that in his lecture Dylan seemed to have invented a quote from Moby-Dick.
Those familiar with Dylan’s music might recall that he winkingly attributed fabricated quotes to Abraham Lincoln in his “Talkin’ World War III Blues.” So Dylan making up an imaginary quote is nothing new. However, I soon discovered that the Moby-Dick line Dylan dreamed up last week seems to be cobbled together out of phrases on the website SparkNotes, the online equivalent of CliffsNotes."

So check out the audio of Bob Dylan giving his Nobel Prize Lecture and you be the judge. And if you want to read Pitzer's full breakdown on the situation, you can check out her article on Slate.

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