Musician Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature 2016
Oslo,Oct14:Bob Dylan, a powerful voice of social turmoil in the United States from the 1960s onward, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday in a surprise decision that made him the first singer-songwriter to win the honour.
The 75-year-old Dylan, who won the prize for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” joins a long line of novelists, poets and playwrights including Octavio Paz, Albert Camus and Ernest Hemingway.
The decision angered some writers who complained that by highlighting one of the world’s most celebrated musicians the Swedish Academy missed an opportunity to bring attention to lesser-known artists.
Awarding the 8 million Swedish crown ($928,000) prize, the Swedish Academy said: “Dylan has the status of an icon. His influence on contemporary music is profound.”
The announcement of the award was met with gasps in Stockholm’s stately Royal Academy hall, followed by some laughter. Swedish Academy member Per Wastberg said: “He is probably the greatest living poet.”
The late novelist Norman Mailer once commented, “If Dylan’s a poet, I’m a basketball player.”
Other well-known authors praised the decision.
Salman Rushdie, the author of novels including The Satanic Verses and Shalimar the Clown, praised the decision, saying it followed centuries of literary tradition stretching from classical Greece to modern India.
Dylan was born into a Jewish family but in the late 1970s converted to Christianity and later said he followed no organised religion. At another point in his life, he took up boxing.
Dylan is the first American to win the award since novelist Toni Morrison in 1993.
Dylan has toured almost continuously since 1988, remaining true to the credo he expressed in “Forever Young,” a hit track from his 1974 album, “Planet Waves.”
Literature was the last of this year’s Nobel prizes to be awarded. The prizes are named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.