Saturday, October 22, 2016

The finger has been taken off the dyke

I have much to thank Bob Dylan, this year’s Nobel Laureate nominee in Literature, at least in anticipation.
I have argued and also blogged saying that writing to popularize science should be recognized as literature. Indeed, before that, science-fiction should be thus elevated.
If the writer of folk songs (leave his performing them aside) can win the prize, anyone, be it a scientist or a science writer, must be accorded recognition at the same level in the same category when their product enlightens people. The service these writers do to society is immense. If anyone would take issue with that, bare your brass knuckled hands and come outside. Mano-a-mano.
I do not care what Ruskin Bond said about giving the prize to Bob Dylan. But, if he as much as whispers a word against the prize being given to science-fiction or science popularizers – bound to happen – I would have him by the throat and he would be shrieking like a chicken.
You must have heard the short story about a kid plugging a hole in the dyke overnight to save seaside hamlet. Well, the dyke has been unplugged with the prize to Dylan. I would like the society now to be flooded with popular science writing, science-fiction, indeed even YouTube videos, like what Brian Cox did to show a bowling ball and a feather fall under gravity in vacuum at EXACTLY the same rate!
Tell me, why is that effort not worthy of literature! You ask, what did it show? I tell you. It showed the capacity of human mind to conjure things that come into existence centuries later. Did we ever think we could “capture” light in a Coke bottle? But, yes it has been done! Isn’t the so-called “human-condition” a staple of appreciation for “literature”? Yes, human-condition – what the mind can do, “capture light”, make a bowling ball and a feather fall together; these too are parts of human-condition.
Let that one small hole get larger and larger and let the Nobel Prize for literature’s dyke fall apart.
My thanks to Bob Dylan.
Raghuram Ekambaram

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