Writing World Roundup: Belize, Bilingualism, and Bob Dylan


In which we discuss some of the top literary stories of the week. Photo credit: Anne Worner via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

American songwriter Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature,
The Washington Post reports. In a post-announcement interview, Sara Danius, the Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary, said the choice of a nominee known primarily for his music career was appropriate in context of a centuries-long association between spoken word traditions and written language in literature. Comparing Dylan to the ancient poets Homer and Sappho, she noted that poets intend for their work to be “listened to,” but that their audiences still enjoy it in written form.

On a related note, five Swedish scientists have been sneaking

Bob Dylan quotes into their papers for the past 17 years, The Guardian says. They’re betting on lunch. Specificall
y, a free lunch at a local restaurant is on the line for whichever participant can log the most Dylan quotes before retiring.

Chinese-British author Xiaolu Guo has penned a short essay for The Guardian in which she discusses living and writing in multiple languages.

“Wittgenstein’s famous line stays with me,” she writes. “‘The limits of my language are the limits of my world.’ Words fail me all the time, whether in Chinese or in English. But I still churn my words out in a foreign world, in a language that I hope will become mine.”

Conde Nast Traveler says the national tourism board in Belize wants Americans to write to their country. Writers don’t have to submit anything too long; an amusing postcard will suffice.

“All mail sent to the Belize Tourism Board between now and November 9 will receive a fact-filled response from a local Belizean—a pen pal of sorts,” the article states. One American writer will win a free trip to Belize.

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