Bob Dylan has delivered his Nobel Prize lecture to the Swedish Academy. Dylan, who was awarded the prize last year, was required to submit a lecture in order to claim his prize money of $923,000.
The lecture, which you can hear Dylan read below, begins with a tribute to Buddy Holly and segues into a long disquisition on Moby Dick. The lecture ends with Dylan’s thoughts on the difference between songs and literature.
“Our songs are alive in the land of the living,” he says. “But songs are unlike literature. They’re meant to be sung, not read. The words in Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be acted on the stage. Just as lyrics in songs are meant to be sung, not read on a page. And I hope some of you get the chance to listen to these lyrics the way they were intended to be heard: in concert or on record or however people are listening to songs these days. I return once again to Homer, who says, ‘Sing in me, oh Muse, and through me tell the story.'”