Submitted by Don Graham
In 1965, at the height of his appointment as the voice of a generation, Bob Dylan was asked if he thought of himself primarily as a singer or a poet. He replied, “Oh, I think of myself more as a song and dance man, y’know?”
And now 51 years later, he has been given the highest possible accolade in literature, the Nobel Prize.He is the first American to win the prize in more than twenty years . Novelist Toni Morrison last won in 1993.
Dylan was given the award "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," according to the citation by the Swedish Academy, the committee that annually decides the recipient of the Nobel Prize.
According to the Swedish Academy, "He is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition, and he is a wonderful sampler - a very original sampler. For 54 years now he has been at it and reinventing himself, constantly creating a new identity." Which is so true for although he is revered for his “Blowin’ In The Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” epics he is also responsible for the more modern “To Make You Feel My Love” and “Wagon Wheel”.
Dylan has won Grammys, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S. Now to add to his honors Dylan has captured the Nobel Prize.
The Nobel Prize in literature has been awarded since 1901 to writers who have produced "the most outstanding work in an ideal direction." In that time, 109 prizes have been distributed to 113 writers. This year, the prize carries with it a purse of approximately $900,000 and, as usual, inclusion on literature's most illustrious list, the pantheon of Nobel winners.
The award caused some controversy, particularly among writers arguing that the literary merits of Dylan’s work are not equal to those of some of his peers.
Referring to the American snack firm, Lebanese novelist Rabih Alameddine tweeted: “Bob Dylan winning a Nobel in Literature is like Mrs Fields being awarded 3 Michelin stars.”
The French Moroccan writer Pierre Assouline was even more upset, describing the decision “...