“It’s hard to believe, amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?” Dylan told The Telegraph in his first interview since the Swedish Academy announced the honor on Oct. 13. Dylan was recognized for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
“If I accept the prize? Of course,” Dylan said, according to a Nobel Prize news release. “The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless. I appreciate the honor so much,” he told Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy.
The prestigious honor’s unlikely recipient seemed to splinter the internet. President Obama took to Twitter to congratulate Dylan, but some authors took to Twitter to sound off about the crossover artist whose published works remixed literary traditions. Dylan is the first musician to be recognized for the honor. Without him, the protest movements of the’60s would have happened, but they might have lost their soundtrack.