You know that feeling -- your deadline for a uni essay on a foot long book is weeks away, so in your mind you're all, 'I can definitely spend three hours on YouTube watching corgi races, then suddenly it's 5.34am on the day it's due and you're fingerbanging your keyboard trying to make it look like you haven't just inhaled the entire Wikipedia entry on the subject instead of the actual book?
Bob Dylan does.
The recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, famed protest song writer -- including the world's first anti-love song, It Ain't Me Babe -- has apparently employed the crucial tactic of cribbing in none other than his Nobel Lecture on his literary influences -- one of which is Moby Dick. If you can't remember of the details of this book (big whale, eats a man), don't worry. Bob Dylan apparently can't remember them either.
An in-depth report from Slate sets out the below comparisons between One of Those Online Things You're Never Meant To Reference In Your English Lit Assignment vs. A Literature Nobel Prize Winner's Speech on Literature. A speech that he literally had almost six months to write.
Quotes a "Quaker pacifist priest" as saying: "some men who receive injuries are led to God, others are led to bitterness." A line that doesn't exist in Moby Dick, anywhere, at all.
Describes the priest character as "someone whose trials have led him toward God rather than bitterness."
"There's a crazy prophet, Gabriel, on one of the vessels, and he predicts Ahab's doom."
"One of the ships ... carries Gabriel, a crazed prophet who predicts doom."
"Captain Boomer -- he lost an arm to Moby. But ... he's happy to have survived. He can't accept Ahab's lust for vengeance."
"Captain Boomer has lost an arm in an encounter with Moby Dick. ... Boomer, happy simply to have survived his encounter, cannot understand Ahab's lust for vengeance."
You get the idea. And if you don't, there's an even longer list of comparisons in a nice, easy to digest table over on Slate (kinda like Sparknotes! But not as like Sparknotes as Bob's speech).
So, next time your uni lecturer advises against the wonders of Wiki and Sparknotes, maybe just print this speech out and slap it on their desk? But also don't pretend it's yours, because that's plagiarism, and there's a line guys, a line that has Sparknotes on one side and plagiarism on the other, a line that even Dylan wouldn't cross.
Text Georgie Wright
Image via YouTube