In an announcement that surprised many, singer/songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."
Dylan, 75, is the first American to win the award since author Toni Morrison in 1993, and he beat out international favorites like Haruki Murakami, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and Philip Roth.
Sara Danius, the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, explained the decision of a songwriter rather than a fiction writer:
"If you look back, far back, 2,500 years or so, you discover Homer and Sappho and they wrote poetic texts that were meant to be listened to, that were meant to be performed, often with instruments -- and it's the same way with Bob Dylan."
Even so, many netizens were confounded by the decision, prompting a typically acerbic slew of tweets:
But as CNN pointed out, Dylan's legacy extends beyond songwriting: "Dylan's music and lyrics spoke to a generation of people during the tumultuous 1960s and helped galvanize the civil rights movement.
His influence continues to permeate through rock, pop and folk music today."