“When I first received this Nobel Prize for Literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature,” says Bob Dylan at the start of his recorded Nobel lecture that was released to the public on Monday, June 5, 2017. In it he discusses the three books that left a deep impression on his – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front and the Odyssey by Homer.
At the end, Dylan asks, “So what does it all mean?”, and answers:
Myself and a lot of other songwriters have been influenced by these very same themes. And they can mean a lot of different things. If a song moves you, that’s all that’s important. I don’t have to know what a song means. I’ve written all kinds of things into my songs. And I’m not going to worry about it – what it all means.
You can listen to Dylan’s lecture by pressing play above, or read the text directly at the Nobel site.