History was made in Sweden today, as Bob Dylan became the first musician to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. When Professor Sara Danius, the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, made the announcement many in attendance gasped with surprise, while others enthusiastically cheered.
Now, based on the rules outlined by the Nobel Prize, it isn’t explicitly explained who can or can’t be nominated for the Literature prize. Thus, it is relatively surprising that it has taken this long for a musician to reach such a pinnacle.
“The candidates eligible for the Literature Prize are those nominated by qualified persons who have received an invitation from the Nobel Committee to submit names for consideration,” reads a passage found on NobelPrize.org. “Other persons who are qualified to nominate but have not received invitations may also submit nominations. No one can nominate himself or herself.”
The usually reclusive Dylan has yet to publically comment on receiving this honour. However, Professor Danius had this to say in a post-announcement interview:
“He is a great poet. He is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition and he is a wonderful sampler – a very original sampler. He embodies the tradition and for 54 years now, he’s been at it and reinventing himself constantly.”
Dylan, who is the man behind classics like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Maggie’s Farm” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” has also won 11 Grammy Awards and one Academy Award. He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.