Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan will not attend the coming ceremony in Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature from the king of the Nordic country. According to AP, the Swedish Academy stated that the Minnesota native “wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible.” According to a press release, troubadour Dylan wrote a personal letter to explain his absence.
According to a Swedish Academy press release, “We look forward to Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture, which he must give – it is the only requirement – within six months counting from December 10, 2016.” The release continued, declaring that his decision is “unusual, but not exceptional.” Among the other laureates who have also failed to show, according to the Academy, were Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter, and Elfriede Jelinek.” Austrian playwright Jelinek pleaded a social phobia as his reason for avoiding the ceremonies. Dylan, too, has displayed unusual behavior in the past. For example, at some concerts he has played with his back to the audience throughout a performance.
It look an unusually long time for Dylan to respond to the Swedish Academy’s mid-October announcement of the prestigious prize. In addition, Dylan reportedly neglected to answer telephone calls and emails.
Granting the literature prize to Dylan raised some eyebrows. Writers of the stature of the American Flannery O'Connor and Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges are among those who never did receive the prize during the lifetime.
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