Two weeks after becoming the first musician to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Bob Dylan has finally decided to share his reaction to landing the prestigious award.
“It’s hard to believe,” he tells the Telegraph, adding that when he first found out, it felt “amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?”
For weeks, the world has waited for Dylan to publicly address his surprise win. He’s not only the first musician, but also the first American to claim the prize since Toni Morrison in 1993. Then the world waited some more. And more. And more. Then it was revealed Dylan wasn’t only ignoring the general public, but also the Swedish Academy, the organization that hands out the prizes. They reached out to the famous singer multiple times, but never heard a response, and weren’t sure if Dylan would even attend the ceremony.
In his new interview, the artist somewhat dashed those concerns. “Absolutely,” he said of attending the ceremony. “If it’s at all possible.” That’s . . . promising, in a Dylanian way. Telegraph writer Edna Gundersen notes that Dylan seems “genuinely bemused” by the public’s confusion with him seemingly ignoring the prize. He also discussed the Academy’s reasoning behind giving him the prize. Nobel permanent secretary Sara Danius called him a “great poet in the English-speaking tradition,” comparing his work to that of Homer and Sappho (though some took issue with Dylan winning the award over traditional authors, playrights, and poets who don’t have the singer’s level of visibility and acclaim).
“I suppose so, in some way,” Dylan says of Danius’s comparison. “Some [of my own] songs — “Blind Willie,” “The Ballad of Hollis Brown,” “Joey,” “A Hard Rain,” “Hurricane,” and some others — definitely are Homeric in value.” He continues. “I’ll let other people decide what they are. The academics, they ought to know. I’m not really qualified. I don’t have any opinion.”