Bob Dylan has delivered his Nobel lecture, the only requirement to claim the money that comes with his prize for literature, the Swedish Academy confirmed on Monday.
“The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent. Now that the lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close,” Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, wrote in a blog post.
In the speech, sent to the academy with an audio link in which Dylan reads it aloud, the enigmatic rock star reflects on the possible links between his lyrics and literature.
“When I first received this Nobel prize for literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature,” Dylan said.
He then cited musicians who inspired him – including Buddy Holly, whose music “changed my life” and made him want to write songs when he was a teenager – and the classic novels that made a big impression on him, including Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front and The Odyssey.
Dylan is the first songwriter to win the prestigious Nobel prize for literature.
The lecture can take nearly any form – including a short speech, a performance, a video broadcast or even a song – and must be held within six months of 10 December, the date of the Nobel prize ceremony and the anniversary of the death of the prize’s founder Alfred Nobel.
Dylan will be able to claim the 8m kronor (€819,000 / $923,000) that comes with the prize.
He was honoured “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” the Academy said when it announced Dylan as the winner in October.