This morning I woke up to a news notification informing me that Bob Dylan won this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature and good for him—he deserves it. Dylan is one of the most covered musicians and he indisputably changed music that we listen to present day.
There have been numerous negative reactions that Dylan did not deserve the literature award. Anna North of the NY Times claimed that “He is great because he is a great musician, and when the Nobel committee gives the literature prize to a musician, it misses the opportunity to honor a writer.”
The recognition is for innovative work which Dylan’s music catalog suits. There is no Nobel Prize for musicians, so why can’t musicians be considered writers if they write and influence culture through the power of words—as, say, a poet or author would?
Dylan was awarded the prize “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Even though music is a unique medium for poetic expression, Dylan’s innovative songwriting progressed prose with his originality and can stand alone, apart from his music.