Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for Literature, one of, if not the most coveted literary prize in the world.
The award was presented to the 75-year-old artist “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
An extremely influential and culturally significant figure throughout the 1960s, 1970s and beyond, his music has gone on to form one of the most important canonical catalogues in music history.
It’s remarkable that a musician and poet, not an author, per se, has taken home this revered prize. Then again, Bob Dylan can easily be classified a poet first and musician second.
At the ceremony, Secretary of the Swedish Academy Sara Danils has described Dylan as “A great sampler … and for 54 years he has been at it, reinventing himself.”
Speaking about Blonde on Blonde, she described it as an “Extraordinary example of his brilliant way of rhyming. Putting together refrains, and his brilliant way of thinking.”
“If you look far back, 5000 years, you discover Homer and Sappho. They wrote poetic texts which were meant to be performed, and it’s the same way for Bob Dylan. We still read Homer and Sappho, and we enjoy it.”
The 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Russian writer Svetlana Alexievich, “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”
In addition to being awarded this tremendous accolade, Dylan has also just performed at “Oldchella,” or Desert Trip, a nostalgic three-day festival arranged by the team behind Coachella. Alongside Bob Dylan have been performances from The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney and The Who.
Read more: Flashback Friday: Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde
Image: Michael Ochs Archives