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February 26, 2021

Dylan cites Holly, Homer in Nobel lecture

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Bob Dylan has finally delivered his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Photo EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo
Bob Dylan has finally delivered his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Photo EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

STOCKHOLM – Bob Dylan, the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, has delivered his award lecture in the form of an audio recording, the Swedish Academy has announced.

‘The speech is extraordinary,’ the Academy’s permanent secretary Sara Danius wrote in a blog entry.

Delivering the lecture is a prerequisite to receive the cash award worth 8 million kronor ($1.24m).

Dylan describes books and music that influenced his life in the lecture recording, which is accompanied by piano in the background.

He calls Buddy Holly like “an older brother” and expresses admiration for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Homer’s The Odyssey, the latter of which Dylan says has “worked its way into the ballads of a lot of songwriters”.

In April, the singer-songwriter accepted his Nobel medal and diploma at a private ceremony in connection with a visit to Stockholm for two sold-out concerts in the Swedish capital.

Dylan, 76, was cited in October for creating “new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

In her blog entry, Danius said that “the Dylan adventure is coming to a close.

‘The Literature Prize is one of the awards endowed by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.

The Nobel awards are usually presented on December 10, marking the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896.

Dylan was unable to attend that event, citing other commitments.

Traditionally, the literature laureate delivers a lectures a few days before the December 10 ceremony.


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