Since the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Bob Dylan in October last year, he’s been on a slightly slower timeline than most recipients of the past. He didn’t attend the official ceremony in that December, citing personal reasons. Eventually he did officially accept the award, but what has remained in question since is when he would present the obligatory Nobel Prize Lecture.
Each recipient of the prize must give a lecture as a pre-requisite for the $900,000 hard cash which comes with the award. Now to be fair, Dylan probably doesn’t need the dollar bills at this point, but it stood as a point of respect that he should give the lecture eventually.
Two days ago in Los Angeles, he did.
Bob Dylan has finally given his Nobel Prize Lecture, discussing the importance of three canonical texts as well as Buddy Holly with his Los Angeles audience.
As soft piano accompaniment plays in the background, Dylan begins his speech with an anecdote about Buddy Holly, using it to surmise music’s, and indeed Dylan’s relationship to literature. He then goes on to describe three choice texts in great detail; The Odyssey, Moby Dick and All Quiet On The Western Front.
Unsurprisingly, it’s hard to stop listening. There’s a natural rhythm to Dylan you can never ignore, and his reverence for powerful literature is apparent.
Safe to say, it was worth the wait. Hear his full lecture below.