NEW YORK — If he lived in England, he’d surely be Sir Bob Dylan.
The most influential songwriter of his time has become the first rock star voted into the elite, century-old American Academy of Arts and Letters, where artists range from Philip Roth to Jasper Johns and categories include music, literature and visual arts. According to executive director Virginia Dajani, officials couldn’t decide whether he belonged for his words or for his music, so they settled on making him an honorary member, joining such previous choices as Meryl Streep, Woody Allen and a filmmaker who has made a documentary about Dylan, Martin Scorsese.
“The board of directors considered the diversity of his work and acknowledged his iconic place in the American culture,” Dajani said recently. “Bob Dylan is a multi-talented artist whose work so thoroughly crosses several disciplines that it defies categorization.”