Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature!
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 13, 2016
He won for his poetic lyrics, becoming the first lyricist to win the Prize, the first American to win since Toni Morrison in 93 and only the second person to have both a Nobel prize and an Oscar.
“Dylan has recorded a large number of albums revolving around topics like the social conditions of man, religion, politics and love,” the Swedish Academy said in a biographical note. “The lyrics have continuously been published in new editions, under the title ‘Lyrics.’ As an artist, he is strikingly versatile; he has been active as painter, actor and scriptwriter.”
In addition to recognizing his lyrics, which documented seismic cultural shifts of the Beat Generation, the Swedish Academy praised his stature in the music world.
“Since the late 1980’s, Bob Dylan has toured persistently, an undertaking called the ‘Never-Ending Tour.’ Dylan has the status of an icon,” the Academy said. “His influence on contemporary music is profound, and he is the object of a steady stream of secondary literature.”
Dylan joins William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and other American literary icons who have received the honor.