Bob Dylan has finally delivered his Nobel Prize lecture. And, in true Dylan fashion, it's rather unique.
Bob Dylan won his Nobel Prize for literature back in October of last year, and after considerable confusion as to whether or not he would actually acknowledge the honour, Dylan finally picked up his award in a private ceremony in March.
Before they can receive the $900,000 prize, however, all Nobel honorees are required to give a lecture in their field - the reliably enigmatic Bob finally recorded his contribution over the weekend in a Los Angeles studio, days before the Nobel deadline required him to deliver.
The Nobel Committee promptly released it on YouTube, for everyone to enjoy:
The 27-minute recording is suitably Dylan-esque - less a lecture, more an illuminating spoken word piece (complete with soundtrack) whereupon Bob reminisces about a Buddy Holly concert he once attended, and Holly's impact on his work, before riffing upon the literary masterpieces — Moby Dick, All Quiet On The Western Front, and The Odyssey—that were influential to him as a young man.
As usual, Bob doesn't feel the need to decode his process for the layman: "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."
In the end, Dylan stresses, the song's the thing, directing the listener back to the work itself. '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.'