Bob Dylan Delivers His Nobel Prize Lecture

After Bob Dylan was named the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature last October, the literary commentariat wrestled with a fundamental question: Can song lyrics be literature? For some, the thought carried an unkind implication: Does something from the galaxy of pop music belong anywhere near the almighty pantheon of Great Lit?

On Monday, the Nobel Foundation released Mr. Dylan’s lecture, a requirement for receiving the award (and its cash prize of about $900,000). In the speech, which is just over 4,000 words long — and about 27 minutes, in an accompanying recording — Mr. Dylan shows that he has been thinking about the question too, and gave a defense detailing his literary and musical influences, and ending on a note that every lit major should know.