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Bob Dylan’s Nobel lecture

June 6, 2017

Here is some of the text via the BBC. This excerpt is about books he read when young that influenced and have remained with him to this day.

“Specific books that have stuck with me ever since I read them way back in grammar school – I want to tell you about three of them: Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front and The Odyssey.”

He described Moby Dick as “a fascinating book, a book that’s filled with scenes of high drama and dramatic dialogue”.

“All Quiet on the Western Front is a horror story. This is a book where you lose your childhood, your faith in a meaningful world, and your concern for individuals.

“The Odyssey is a great book whose themes have worked its way into the ballads of a lot of songwriters: Homeward Bound, Green, Green Grass of Home, Home on the Range, and my songs as well,” he said. . . .

“Our songs are alive in the land of the living. But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page.

“And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer, who says, ‘Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story.'”

He is a worthy recipient of the prize.

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