- 06 Jun 17
It's been a long time coming, as Sam Cooke once sang... but Bob Dylan has finally recorded the mandatory lecture in order to pick up prize money for his Nobel award.
The music icon recorded the lecture in the nick of time, as it has to be done within six months of picking up the prize in order to get the cheque for a staggering 8m kroner ($900,000;£727,000).
It has now just been uploaded onto social media by the Swedish Academy. “The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent. Now that the lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close,” said the secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius.
You can listen to the 27 minutes talk in full here...
Dylan initially refused to pick up the award in person, but back in March he surprisingly agreed to accept his Nobel Prize for Literature from the academy when he visited the Swedish capital.
“When I first received this Nobel Prize for literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature,” Dylan said.
In Bob Dylan's acceptance speech, which was read out on his behalf at the Nobel Banquet back in December by US Ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji, Dylan admitted that winning the Nobel Prize for Literature came as a much of a shock to himself as it had to the rest of the world. In the speech, which was delivered last year, he stated that it was a great honour to receive “such a prestigious prize” – but confessed that he always thought he’d just about the same chance of going to the moon as he did of being the first singer-songwriter to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.“If someone had ever told me that I had the slightest chance of winning the Nobel Prize, I would have to think that I’d have about the same odds as standing on the moon,” he revealed.
“In fact, during the year I was born and for a few years after, there wasn’t anyone in the world who was considered good enough to win this Nobel Prize. So, I recognize that I am in very rare company, to say the least.”
At the Nobel prize-giving ceremony back in December, Patti Smith performed Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ but had to stop mid-song and restart her performance because she forgot the lyrics.
“I apologize. I'm sorry, I'm so nervous," Smith said to the audience in Stockholm’s Concert Hall, before asking the orchestra to start over.
Here’s Patti Smith’s performance at the ceremony:
Dylan's selection for the Nobel Prize raised many eyebrows within the world of literature, mostly from disgruntled writers who themselves have failed so far to get their hands on this holy grail prize.
Back in December, best-selling author Stephen King dismissed the criticism of Dylan's Nobel win as nothing more than “just plain old sour grapes”.
The author of Misery and The Shining said he was “over the moon” when he heard Bob Dylan was to receive the prestigious accolade. "I read it over my breakfast. It's like remembering where you were when Kennedy was shot,” he recalled.
The king of horror pointed out that he never met Bob Dylan, but has been a huge fan of his music and, in particular his lyrics, ever since he first went to one of his gigs back in 1975 while writing his first major blockbuster ‘=Carrie .
Asked for his thoughts about the criticism directed at the iconic singer-songwriter being awarded the Nobel Prize, King told Rolling Stone magazine: “People complaining about his Nobel either don't understand or it's just a plain old case of sour grapes."
He added, "I've seen several literary writers who have turned their noses up at the Dylan thing, like Gary Shteyngart. Well, I've got news for you, Gary: There are a lot of deserving writers who have never gotten the Nobel Prize. And Gary Shteyngart will probably be one of them. That's no reflection on his work. You have to rise to the level of a Faulkner if you're an American.
“My kids listen to Dylan, and so do my grandkids. That's three generations. That's real longevity and quality. Most people in pop music are like moths around a bug light; they circle for a while and then there's a bright flash and they're gone. Not Dylan."