Bob Dylan Received the Nobel Prize in Literature

Bob Dylan recently was awarded a 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature in Stockholm, Sweden. While Bob Dylan did not attend the award ceremony in December, he did send a written acceptance speech. Normally, each award winner is required to give a lecture in his field within a 6 month period of receiving the honor. Dylan plans to submit his lecture in video form sometime in the future.

 

While Dylan is avoiding all the public hoopla surrounding the Nobel Prize, this isn’t the first time he has received such prestigious accolades. While he has shown up in person to accept his awards in the past, this is one time where he appears to be uncomfortable acknowledging this unexpected honor.

 

In a completely private setting, Bob Dylan is set to physically receive his medal and diploma from the Swedish Academy around the end of March sometime. This is the first Nobel Prize for Literature given to an American since Toni Morrison in 1993. In his very gracious acceptance speech read for him in December, Bob Dylan himself asked the question, is my music literature? Many critics of the decision to honor Bob Dylan were very vocal when they disagreed and thought the honor should have gone to someone else.

 

The Nobel Committee, however, was quick to defend their decision. In the Committee’s award presentation speech at the December ceremony, they acknowledged that Bob Dylan was not the atypical writer of great literature. However, he had the ability to shift what our idea of great literature is to a more understandable modern version of poetry put to music. Basically, Bob Dylan is a singer songwriter that changed folk music forever in the 50 years he has been writing and performing.

 

Not everyone is a critic of the fact that Bob Dylan received this award. Al Gore called Dylan his favorite social philosopher. Bob Dylan has written songs that have changed the social climate of our country. And if that isn’t great literature, then what is?

 

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