Updated at 8:00 a.m. ET
NEWS BRIEF Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, on May 24, 1941, Dylan, now 75, has redefined American music. The Nobel Prize in Literature caps a lifetime of awards for the musician. Among other honors, he has won a dozen Grammys, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Dylan has long been considered a favorite for the award. In 2013, Bill Wyman, the arts writer (not the member of the Rolling Stones), made the case in The New York Times for Dylan to be honored with the Nobel Prize in Literature. He argued:
Mr. Dylan’s work remains utterly lacking in conventionality, moral sleight of hand, pop pabulum or sops to his audience. His lyricism is exquisite; his concerns and subjects are demonstrably timeless; and few poets of any era have seen their work bear more influence.
But many others have argued against such a move. Writing in The Atlantic, also in 2013, Zach Schonfeld acknowledged that “Wyman is correct to place Dylan in that small category of pop performers who could rightly be called poets.” But, he added:
[H]e doesn't quite consider the nature of Dylan's craft: songwriting. Albums. Rock music. That's an altogether different vehicle than a poem—or, say, a novel or story collection—and as New York Magazine's Jody Rosen argued in a lengthy quibble with Wyman and others, Dylan's verses certainly "don't sit inert on a page"; nor are his songs "mere word-delivery systems"
Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, defended the choice.