Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize for Literature

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It’s the first time the prestigious prize has been awarded to someone primarily seen as a musician.

Bob Dylan, regarded as the voice of a generation for his influential songs from the 1960s onwards, has won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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By Karl Ritter, The Associated Press   courtesy
Thu., Oct. 13, 2016

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STOCKHOLM—Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday, a stunning announcement that for the first time bestowed the prestigious award on a musician for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
Reporters and others who gathered at the Swedish Academy’s headquarters in Stockholm’s Old Town reacted with a loud cheer as his name was read out.

Dylan, 75, is arguably the most iconic poet-musician of his generation. Songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’” became anthems for the U.S. anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s.

Dylan’s impact on popular culture was immense and his influence as a lyricist extends to every major music figure and songwriter of the last 50 years, from the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen and beyond.

But although he had been mentioned in Nobel speculation for years, many experts had ruled him out, thinking the academy wouldn’t extend its more than a century-old award to the world of music.

They were wrong. The academy’s permanent secretary, Sara Danius, said while Dylan performs his poetry in the form of songs, that’s no different from the ancient Greeks, whose works were often performed to music.

“Bob Dylan writes poetry for the ear,” she said. “But it’s perfectly fine to read his works as poetry.”

Dylan is the first American winner of the Nobel literature prize since Toni Morrison won in 1993.

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