Bob Dylan Receives the Nobel Prize in Literature

Bob Dylan Receives the Nobel Prize in Literature

Dylan makes history as the first songwriter to receive the prestigious award.

Dylan makes history as the first songwriter to receive the prestigious award.

Text: Kate Ramsay

This Thursday, the Swedish Academy awarded Bob Dylan the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature for his poetic accomplishments. The 75-year-old singer songwriter’s work was likened to the greats of Greek Poetry, who often accompanied their scholarly writings with music. As the first songwriter to receive the award, Dylan may not be the most obvious recipient, but the Academy’s secretary, Sara Danuis, praised the artist for his ability to reinvent himself through song for over five decades and continues to have “a tremendous impact on popular music.” He embodies all levels of tradition, according to Darius, and represents each facet of the American heritage in both an original and historic fashion, like many of his predecessors who helped frame that heritage.

With nearly 70 albums, Dylan’s work has been the voice for and of generations, peaking during the civil rights movement when Dylan used the spoken word to it’s highest potential to support the cause. He’s been on “an undertaking called the ‘Never-Ending Tour,’” explained the Academy. Dylan’s influence has been permeating both music and society, giving him a deserving spot in the American canon alongside other societal icons such as Toni Morrison, who was the last American to win the prize in 1993.

Dylan’s previous honors include 10 Grammy Awards, an Golden Globe, an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, presented by President Barack Obama.

Bob Dylan at the Blackbushe Pop Festival, Hampshire, England, July 17, 1978. (Photo courtesy of Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

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