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Dylan defies all categories—musically and politically

The Nobel committee was right to place him in the company of wonderful writers

By Sam Tanenhaus   December 2016

©Adam Beitcher/Getty Images

Read more: Bob Almighty

“It will be a good joke on us all if, in 50 years or so, Dylan is regarded as a significant figure in English poetry,” the music critic Donal Henahan wrote in 1967. “Not Mr Thomas, the late Welsh bard, but Bob, the guitar-picking American balladeer.” Well, the punchline has come and no one is laughing, except possibly Bob Dylan. After 16 days of enigmatic silence, America’s most honoured living artist at last acknowledged his latest accolade, the Nobel…

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