The Atlantic

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture Says the Unsayable

He describes great literature at length both to explain his songs and to show why they’re beyond explanation.
Source: Vince Bucci/Invision/AP

If you’ve never gotten around to sitting down and reading Moby Dick, fear not, Bob Dylan will summarize it for you. Excerpted from his newly released Nobel Lecture in Literature, here is the opening paragraph of his description of Herman Melville’s opus:

Moby Dick is a fascinating book, a book that’s filled with scenes of high drama and dramatic dialogue. The book makes demands on you. The plot is straightforward. The mysterious Captain Ahab—captain of a ship called the Pequod—an egomaniac with a peg leg pursuing his nemesis, the great white whale Moby Dick who took his leg. And he pursues him all the way from the Atlantic around the tip of Africa

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