For the first time ever, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to a musician. The living legend himself, Bob Dylan, received the accolade overnight, with the Swedish Academy deeming his impact on American poetry extremely noteworthy.
Dylan was selected on a count of “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
Literary scholar and the permanent secretary for the Nobel Prize, Sara Danius, went as far as to compare Dylan to Homer or Sappho, commenting on the academy’s decision to expand their horizon for literature candidates into music with, “The times they are a-changing, perhaps,” a commendable and timely Dylan reference.
As The New York Time reports, while the music community celebrated the news, some of the more noteworthy members of the literature world weren’t too keen on the decision.
Novelist Laila Lalami responded with, “Bob Dylan winning a Nobel in Literature is like Mrs Fields being awarded 3 Michelin stars,” while fellow author Rabih Alameddine stated the slightly more existential, “This is almost as silly as Winston Churchill.”
Dylan’s Nobel Prize will go nicely on his mantlepiece, next to his slew of other awards, including Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Awards. It’s hard to tell at this stage how such an accolade compares with receiving the US President’s Medal Of Freedom, but we’re sure it’s up there.
Dylan joins the ranks of wordsmiths like T. S. Eliot, Gabriel García Márquez, Samuel Beckett and Toni Morrison, who have previously won the award.
Watch: The Nobel Prize On Why Bob Dylan Won
Watch: Bob Dylan – ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’