NOBEL 2016: Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize in Literature
The singer and songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” in the words of the Swedish Academy. In doing so, the prolific musician became the first American to win the prize in more than two decades.
The win comes as something of a shock. As usual, the Swedish Academy did not announce a shortlist of nominees, leaving the betting markets to their best guesses. And while Dylan has enjoyed perennial favor as an outside shot for the award, few expected that the musician would be the first to break the Americans' long dry spell — not least because he made his career foremost on the stage, not the printed page.
Yet few would argue Dylan has been anything but influential, both in the U.S. and beyond its borders. The prolific singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has produced dozens of albums, including The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited and Blood on the Tracks. His track "Like a Rolling Stone" has taken on mythic standing in the decades since its release; many, including Dylan himself, have pointed to it as emblematic of a sea change in American music.
"Mr. Dylan’s work remains utterly lacking in conventionality, moral sleight of hand, pop pabulum or sops to his audience," Bill Wyman wrote in a 2013 Op-Ed essay in The New York Times arguing the case for Mr. Dylan’s getting the award. "His lyricism is exquisite; his concerns and subjects are demonstrably timeless; and few poets of any era have seen their work bear more influence."
The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded since 1901 to writers who have produced "the most outstanding work in an ideal direction." In that time, 109 prizes have been distributed to 113 writers. This year, the prize carries with it a purse of approximately $900,000 and, as usual, inclusion on literature's most illustrious list — the pantheon of Nobel winners.
The 75-year-old artist will receive his award in Stockholm, Sweden, on Dec. 10.
Source: New York Times