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Poetry Scholar On Why Bob Dylan Deserves The Nobel Prize In Literature15:31Download

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Bob Dylan opens his "True Confessions" tour in the San Diego Sports Arena to a sold-out house of about 17,000 in 1986. (Howard Lipin/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Bob Dylan opens his "True Confessions" tour in the San Diego Sports Arena to a sold-out house of about 17,000 in 1986. (Howard Lipin/AP)

Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature today. He is the first winner to have made a career primarily as a singer-songwriter and the first American to win in Literature since Toni Morrison in 1993.

Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize, recommended Dylan's 1966 album "Blonde on Blonde" when making the Nobel announcement today. She also compared Dylan's songs to the works of Homer and Sappho, saying, "He is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition and he embodies the tradition and for 54 years now he's been at it and reinventing himself."

We talk to a celebrated British literary critic about why he calls Dylan "near poetic perfection."

Guest

Sir Christopher Ricks, professor of humanities at Boston University, author of "Dylan's Visions of Sin."

This segment aired on October 13, 2016.

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