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American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan has been named the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in Stockholm for having created new poetic expressions with the great American song tradition.
Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, said she hoped the Academy would not be criticised for its choice, reports the Guardian.
"The times are changing, perhaps. Of course he deserves it - he's got it. He is a great poet - a great poet in the English speaking tradition. For 54 years he's been at it, reinventing himself constantly, creating a new identity" she said.
Danius said the choice of Dylan may appear surprising, "but if you look far back, 5000 years, you discover Homer and Sappho. They wrote poetic texts which were meant to be performed, and it's the same way for Bob Dylan. We still read Homer and Sappho, and we enjoy it."
The winner of the Nobel Prize for literature is chosen by 18 members of the Swedish Academy, who are looking for "the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction."
Major writers believed to have been in the running for the award included the Kenyan Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, the American Don DeLillo and the Japanese Haruki Murakami.
Dylan becomes the first American to win the Nobel Prize for literature since Toni Morrison won the same in 1993.
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