Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than 50 years.
Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as „Blowin’ in the Wind“ (1963) and „The Times They Are a-Changin“ (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements.
His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture.
The Nobel Prize committee announced on October 13, 2016, that it would be awarding Dylan the Nobel Prize in Literature „for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.“
The New York Times reported: „Mr. Dylan, 75, is the first musician to win the award, and his selection on Thursday is perhaps the most radical choice in a history stretching back to 1901.“
Dylan remained silent for two weeks after receiving the award, and then told journalist Edna Gundersen that getting the award was „amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?“
The dominant myth of the day seemed to be that anybody could do anything, even go to the moon. You could do whatever you wanted -in the ads and in the articles, ignore your limitations, defy them. If you were an indecisive person, you could become a leader and wear lederhosen. If you were a housewife, you could become a glamour girl with rhinestone sunglasses. Are you slow witted? No worries -you can be an intellectual genius. If you’re old, you can be young. Anything was possible. It was almost like a war against the self.
I’m happy to just be able to come across things. I don’t need to be happy. Happiness is a kind of cheap word. Let’s face it, I’m not the kind of cat that’s going to cut off an ear if I can’t do something. I would commit suicide. I would shoot myself in the brain if things got bad. I would jump from a window…you know, I can think about death openly. It’s nothing to fear. It’s nothing sacred. I’ve seen so many people die. Life’s not sacred either.
Life is sad, life is a bust, all you can do is do what you must. You do what you must do, and you do it well.
I can see God in a daisy. I can see God at night in the wind and rain. I see Creation just about everywhere. The highest form of song is prayer. King David’s, Solomon’s, the wailing of a coyote, the rumble of the Earth.
I am against nature. I don’t dig nature at all. I think nature is very unnatural. I think the truly natural things are dreams, which nature can’t touch with decay.
DESTINY is a feeling you have that you know something about yourself nobody else does. The picture you have in your own mind of what you’re about WILL COME TRUE. It’s a kind of a thing you kind of have to keep to your own self, because it’s a fragile feeling, and you put it out there, then someone will kill it. It’s best to keep that all inside.
I like to stay a part of that stuff that don’t change. Actually, it’s not that difficult – people still love and they still hate, they still marry and have children, still slaves in their minds to their desires, still slap each other in the face, and say ‘honey can you turn off the light’ just like they did in ancient Greece. What’s changed? When did Abraham break his father’s idols? I think it was last Tuesday.
Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.
Sometimes it’s not enough to know what things mean, sometimes you have to know what things don’t mean.
No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky.