Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday to become the first songwriter to land the world’s most pretigious writing prize. The American musician, best known for hits Mr Tambourine Man, Blowin’ In The Wind and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, was lauded for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. The announcement was a major surprise and the 75-year-old joins greats such as T S Eliot, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck in the canon of Americans to be given literature’s greatest honour. Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the academy, said: “Bob Dylan writes poetry for the ear. But it’s perfectly fine to read his works as poetry.”
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.
Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the academy
Dylan, who was also awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his contributions to music and American culture, has often been mentioned as a contender for the Nobel prize. But his appearance on lists of odds was usually considered something of an inside joke. His victory was greeted with cheers in the Swedish auditorium where it was announced and with some enthusiasm outside it. British broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell tweeted: “Dylan! Wow! That’s a great choice…his voice, his lyrics, his take on the world shaped a generation and beyond.” But others were a little more skeptical. “This feels like the lamest Nobel win since they gave it to Obama for not being Bush,” said novelist Hari Kunzru.
If Bob Dylan can win the Nobel Prize for literature then I think @StephenKing should get elected to the Rock N’ Roll hall of fame.
Writer and publisher Jason Pinter