No­bel academy: Bob Dy­lan is ‘im­po­lite and ar­ro­gant’

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

A prom­i­nent mem­ber of the academy which awards the No­bel lit­er­a­ture prize slammed this year’s lau­re­ate Bob Dy­lan as ar­ro­gant on Oc­to­ber 21, cit­ing his to­tal si­lence since the award was an­nounced last week.

The US singer-song­writer has not re­sponded to re­peated phone calls from the Swedish Academy, nor re­acted in any way in pub­lic to the news.

“It’s im­po­lite and ar­ro­gant,” said the academy mem­ber, Swedish writer Per Wast­berg, in com­ments aired on SVT pub­lic tele­vi­sion.

On the evening of Oc­to­ber 13, the day the lit­er­a­ture prize win­ner was an­nounced, Dy­lan played a con­cert in Las Ve­gas dur­ing which he just sang his songs and made no com­ment at all to his fans.

He ended the con­cert with a ver­sion of the Frank Si­na­tra hit “Why Try To Change Me Now?”, taken to be a nod to­ward his long­stand­ing aver­sion to the me­dia.

Ev­ery De­cem­ber 10, No­bel prize win­ners are in­vited to Stock­holm to re­ceive their awards from King Carl XVI Gustaf and give a speech dur­ing a ban­quet. The Swedish Academy still does not know if Dy­lan plans to come. “This is an un­prece­dented sit­u­a­tion,” said Wast­berg. An­ders Barany, a mem­ber of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, re­called that Al­bert Ein­stein snubbed the academy af­ter be­ing awarded the physics prize in 1921.

In 1964 French writer and philoso­pher Jean-Paul Sartre re­fused the lit­er­a­ture prize out­right.

Dy­lan, 75, whose lyrics have in­flu­enced gen­er­a­tions of fans, is the first song­writer to win the lit­er­a­ture prize.

Other con­tenders for this year’s prize in­cluded Sal­man Rushdie, Syr­ian poet Ado­nis and Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

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