Should Bob Dylan have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature?

From the Guardian

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Bob Dylan. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives

Bob Dylan was named the surprise winner of the The Nobel Prize for Literature in Stockholm today “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, said she hoped the Academy would not be criticised for its choice.

“The times they are a’changing, perhaps,” she said, comparing the songs of the American songwriter, who had yet to be informed of his win, to the works of Homer and Sappho.

“Of course he deserves it – he’s got it,” she said. “He’s a great poet – a great poet in the English-speaking tradition. For 54 years he’s been at it, reinventing himself constantly, creating a new identity.”

Danius said the choice of Dylan may appear surprising, “but if you look far back, … you discover Homer and Sappho. They wrote poetic texts which were meant to be performed, and it’s the same way for Bob Dylan. We still read Homer and Sappho, and we enjoy it. We can and should read him.”

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