Although he did not attend the ceremony, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 6 months ago. Now, he’s fulfilled the award’s criteria by delivering a lecture to the Nobel Academy.
Dylan’s lecture was recorded June 4th in LA. He discussed both his musical influences (Leadbelly, Buddy Holly) and books that influenced his writing (Moby Dick, All Quiet On The Western Front, Homer’s The Odyssey). According to Dylan “the themes from those books worked their way into many of my songs, either knowingly or unintentionally. I wanted to write songs unlike anything anybody ever heard, and these themes were fundamental.”
Dylan says in his lecture that the songwriter, the poet, the playwright and the storyteller are all similar.”Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read“.
Listen to the entire 30 minute lecture below: