Bob Dylan finally delivers Nobel lecture

Singer-songwriter names major literary influences, including Herman Melville's Moby Dick and Homer's The Odyssey.


Bob Dylan has finally delivered the lecture he was required to give as a condition of receiving the Nobel Prize for literature.

The singer-songwriter had until next Tuesday to give the speech or he would have had to pay back the 8m krona (£727,000) that he was awarded in October last year.

Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, the 76-year-old did not actually collect the prize until the end of March and he has only just released his taped lecture in which he mentioned three books that influenced him: Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Homer's The Odyssey and Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front.

In talking about his early career, he also singled out the influence of Buddy Holly.

He 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."

Dylan said he travelled "a hundred miles” to see his “powerful and electrifying” performance.

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 Lead Belly record with the song Cottonfields on it. And that record changed my life right then and there."

Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy which awards the prize, wrote in a blog post: “Now that the Lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close.”



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