Perhaps it was more a case of time out of mind but Bob Dylan has finally met the June 10 deadline to deliver the lecture needed in order for him to win the money he received for his Nobel Prize For Literature.
The enigmatic song and dance man won 8m krona (£727,000) in October but didn’t collect his award until March. Still, the times they are a changin’ (that’s enough Dylan puns, thank you – Ed.) and Dylan has finally delivered his lecture in the form of an audio file. You can listen to it below.
“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 Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize.
The speech finds Dylan reflecting on the possible links between his lyrics and literature. He cites the musicians who inspired him – particularly Buddy Holly whose music “changed my life” – and the classic novels that also moved him, including Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and Homer’s The Odyssey.
Speaking of Buddy Holly, who was killed in plane crash at the age of 22 in 1959, Dylan said: "If I was to go back to the dawning of it all, I guess I'd have to start with Buddy Holly... He was the archetype. Everything I wasn't and wanted to be."
He continued: "Out of the blue, the most uncanny thing happened. He looked me right straight dead in the eye, and he transmitted something. Something I didn't know what. And it gave me the chills.
"It was a day or two after that that his plane went down… somebody handed me a Leadbelly record with the song ‘Cottonfields’ on it. And that record changed my life right then and there."
Bob Dylan is the first songwriter to win the Nobel Prize For Literature.