Books

Bob Dylan’s Stunning Nobel Lecture: Our Songs Are Alive in the Land of the Living

Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel prize for Literature but only  delivered his Nobel lecture on June 5.

“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.

  • Anjan Basu

    What a remarkable speech! This is vintage Bob Dylan. He speaks straight from his heart here and the sweep of his creative imagination is truly stunning. Grateful to The Wire for bringing it to us all!