Bob Dy­lan wins lit­er­a­ture No­bel

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESS in Stock­holm

US mu­sic leg­end Bob Dy­lan won the No­bel Lit­er­a­ture Prize on Thurs­day, the first song­writer to win the pres­ti­gious award in a de­ci­sion that stunned prize watch­ers.

Dy­lan, 75, was hon­ored “for hav­ing cre­ated new po­etic ex­pres­sions within the great Amer­i­can song tra­di­tion”, the Swedish Academy said.

The choice was met by gasps and a long round of ap­plause from jour­nal­ists at­tend­ing the prize an­nounce­ment. The folk singer has been men­tioned in No­bel speculation in past years, but was never seen as a se­ri­ous con­tender.

The academy’s per­ma­nent sec­re­tary, Sara Da­nius, said Dy­lan’s songs were “poetry for the ears”.

“Dy­lan has the sta­tus of an icon. His in­flu­ence on con­tem­po­rary mu­sic is pro­found,” the academy wrote in bi­o­graph­i­cal notes about the fa­mously pri­vate singer.

Last year, the prize went to Be­laru­sian au­thor Svet­lana Alex­ievich for her doc­u­men­tary-style nar­ra­tives based on wit­ness tes­ti­monies.

Dy­lan will take home the 8 mil­lion krone ($971,000) prize.

The No­bel is the lat­est ac­co­lade for the singer, who has come a long way from his hum­ble be­gin­nings as Robert Allen Zim­mer­man, born in 1941 in Du­luth, Min­nesota, and who taught him­self to play the har­mon­ica, gui­tar and pi­ano.

Cap­ti­vated by the mu­sic of folk singer Woody Guthrie, Zim­mer­man changed his name to Bob Dy­lan — re­port­edly after the Welsh poet Dy­lan Thomas — and be­gan per­form­ing in lo­cal night­clubs.

After drop­ping out of col­lege, he moved to New York in 1960. His first al­bum con­tained only two orig­i­nal songs, but the 1963 break­through The Free­wheelin’ Bob Dy­lan fea­tured a slew of his own songs, in­clud­ing the clas­sic Blowin’ in the Wind.

His in­flu­ence on con­tem­po­rary mu­sic is pro­found.” Ci­ta­tion from the Swedish Academy

CRAIG LASSIG / REUTERS

Mandy Fallen of St. Cloud pho­tographs a mu­ral of Bob Dy­lan, the 2016 No­bel Prize win­ner in lit­er­a­ture, in Min­neapo­lis, Min­nesota on Thurs­day. The mu­ral was cre­ated by Brazil­ian artist Ed­uardo Ko­bra and his team.

Bob Dy­lan, US folk singer and song­writer

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