The Swedish Academy pushed its boundaries beyond acclaimed books as they awarded American folk icon, Bob Dylan, the highest literary honor of the Nobel Prize in literature, having met the same fate as 113 laureates including William Golding, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Samuel Beckett, and more.
The 75-year-old singer is the first musician to receive such a prestigious accolade “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” unexpectedly winning against literary giants Haruki Murakami, Philip Roth, and Don DeLillo.
In the video announcement, Pitchfork reports, Swedish Academy Secretary Sara Danius dubbed Dylan as a “great poet in the English tradition” for creating poetry for the ear — songs that have been anthems of anti-war and civil rights movements in the 60s, among others.
Dylan is known for his best work in the ‘60s after shifting to a more “electric” form from traditional folk as celebrated in albums such as Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, and Blood on the Tracks.
The singer-songwriter has also taken his writing prowess as a full-time author in Tarantula, his infamous (read: widely panned) experimental prose poetry collection written in 1965 and 1966, and the lucid nostalgia of his remarkably uncultured life in the memoir Chronicles.
Dylan is the first American to win the Nobel Prize in literature since Toni Morrison in 1993.