Bob Dylan

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AFP / Getty Pictures

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Slate journal noticed 20 similarities between Dylan’s speech and a research web site utilized by college students

Bob Dylan could have plagiarised his Nobel Prize lecture from SparkNotes, an internet model of CliffsNotes, it has been claimed.

Slate Magazine uncovered similarities between the location’s entry on Moby-Dick and Dylan’s speech, through which he mentioned the three books that had the most important influence on his profession.

The investigation was prompted by the invention that the musician had quoted a passage which doesn’t seem in any present editions of Herman Melville’s novel.

Dylan quoted a Quaker priest who, within the aftermath of a storm at sea, tells one other character: “Some males who obtain accidents are led to God, others are led to bitterness.”

Author Ben Greenman observed the road didn’t seem in Melville’s novel, suggesting Dylan could have misremembered the e book.

Nonetheless, Slate found that SparkNotes used comparable phrasing, describing the preacher as “somebody whose trials have led him towards God fairly than bitterness”.

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Getty Pictures

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Dylan has been accused of borrowing lyrics from different writers prior to now, though he maintains that he’s working within the folks traditions

It then famous 19 additional similarities between Dylan’s description of Moby-Dick and the abstract on SparkNotes, together with:

Dylan: “There is a loopy prophet, Gabriel, on one of many vessels, and he predicts Ahab’s doom.”

SparkNotes: “One of many ships … carries Gabriel, a crazed prophet who predicts doom.”

Dylan: “Captain Boomer – he misplaced an arm to Moby. However… he is completely happy to have survived. He cannot settle for Ahab’s lust for vengeance.”

SparkNotes: “Captain Boomer has misplaced an arm in an encounter with Moby Dick… Boomer, completely happy merely to have survived his encounter, can’t perceive Ahab’s lust for vengeance.”

Dylan: “He calls Moby the emperor, sees him because the embodiment of evil.”

SparkNotes: “He sees this whale because the embodiment of evil.”

In every of those instances, the important thing phrases (“predicts doom”; “lust for vengeance”; “embodiment of evil”) don’t seem in Melville’s unique textual content.

Representatives for Dylan and the Nobel Prize Committee have but to answer a request for remark.

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Media captionDylan explains secret to songwriting

The musician gained the the Nobel Prize for literature in October and had till 10 June to ship his lecture or forfeit the prize cash of 8m krona ($900,000, £727,000).

He delivered the speech in the form of a beat poem, recited over a meandering piano, simply earlier than the deadline on four June – elevating the scrumptious prospect that, like every teenager in a band, he cribbed his homework off the web in a last-minute panic.

However this isn’t the primary time Dylan has been accused of copying another person’s work.

He poached some stanzas from 19th-Century Accomplice poet Henry Timrod for Fashionable Instances; whereas among the lyrics on his 2001 album Love and Theft had been allegedly primarily based on Junichi Saga’s e book Confessions of a Yakuza.

In June 2009, Christie’s of New York auctioned considered one of his earliest handwritten poems, Little Buddy, which had been submitted to his summer season camp newspaper in 1957.

However eagle-eyed historians noticed that the poem was a thinly-veiled rewrite of a Hank Snow music, additionally known as Little Buddy.

And, earlier this yr, a British photographer noticed an uncanny similarity between his shot of Blackpool Pier and considered one of Dylan’s work, which purports to indicate Norfolk, Virginia.

The musician has defended his interpolation of different folks’s work as being a part of the people custom, paying homage to the artists who got here earlier than, and re-contextualising their work for a contemporary viewers.

“If I used to be a grasp thief, maybe I might rob them,” he sang on Positively 4th Road; whereas, in a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, he defended himself in opposition to accusations of plagiarism on Love and Theft.

“I am working inside my artwork type,” he stated. “It is that straightforward. I work throughout the guidelines and limitations of it. There are authoritarian figures that may clarify that type of artwork type higher to you than I can. It is known as songwriting. It has to do with melody and rhythm, after which after that, something goes.

“You make every little thing yours. All of us do it.”

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