Folk legend Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Posted October 27, 2016

He is the first American to win the prize since novelist Toni Morrison, in 1993.

Not everyone is a fan of Dylan's poetry, however.

Bob Dylan accepts the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year award on February 6, 2015.

Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in 1941 and started his musical career in 1959, playing in coffee houses in Minnesota, United States.

Throughout all these decades of making music, money has been the last thing on Dylan's mind. Dylan's collaboration with The Band became the template on which every single rock band was based on since then.

Dylan's memoir "Chronicles: Volume One" and a bound compilation, "The Lyrics: 1961-2012", were among two of Amazon.com's fastest sellers Thursday. Yes, I wish that for just one time You could stand inside my shoes You'd know what a drag it is To see you'.

L'Osservatore Romano, which frequently chimes in on pop culture, wrote a brief article about Thursday's award.

Lyrics from scores of Dylan songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind", "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again", "My Back Pages" and "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)", have worked their way into the public lexicon over the years, becoming repeated over and over, much in the manner of lines from Shakespearean plays.

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He is believed to have beaten competition from writers Don DeLillo and Haruki Murakami.

Choice lyric: "Now Ophelia, she's beneath the window, for her I feel so afraid / On her twenty-second birthday she already is an old maid / To her, death is quite romantic, she wears an iron vest / Her profession's her religion, her sin is her lifelessness".

Critics are questioning why the Nobel judges couldn't find a single woman across the planet worthy of being honored in any of the six prize categories. He pursued them all, sometimes separately and other times simultaneously.

When Swedish Academy member Per Wastberg gushes that "He is probably the greatest living poet", I can only say that Mr Wastberg should not be let anywhere near a literature prize. Songs like "I Shall Be Free No. 10", "Spanish Harlem Incident", "To Ramona", and "It Ain't Me Babe" showed a more mellow side of Dylan. "His poetry and melody changed society".

Sara Danius (inset), the Nobel academy's permanent secretary, said she "hoped" the decision would not be heavily criticised, adding: "If you look back, far back, 2,500 years or so, you discover Homer and Sappho and they wrote poetic texts that were meant to be listened to".

"Bob Dylan a very welcome respite/interregnum interrupting cascade of T (asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) p grotesquerie", she tweeted. So did T Bone Burnett, the producer and musician who toured with Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue in the mid-'70s. "I wanted to write songs", Dylan said. "One result might be to open the prize to genre fiction as well as the "literary" sort".

"Dylan's name has often been mentioned over the past few years but we always thought it was a joke", said the French novelist Pierre Assouline, who could not hide his fury at the Nobel committee. It's, no doubt, going to generate controversy over what counts as literature.