Reclusive singer tight-lipped about honour
A member of the Swedish Academy that awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature to Bob Dylan says the American singersongwriter’s silence since receiving the honour is “impolite and arrogant”.
Per Wastberg said the lack of reaction from Dylan (pictured) to the honour the academy bestowed on him last week was predictable, but was disrespectful nonetheless.
“One can say that it is impolite and arrogant. He is who he is,” Wastberg was quoted as saying by the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
Wastberg said the academy still hopes to communicate with the 75-year-old artist, whose Nobel credits him with creating “new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
“We have agreed not to lift a finger. The ball lies entirely on his half,” Wastberg said. “You can speculate as much as you want but we don’t.”
The academy said it has failed to reach the tight-lipped laureate since he became the first musician in the Nobel’s 115-year history to win the prize in literature. The award was mentioned on Dylan’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts, however Dylan spokesman Larry Jenkins did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
The literature prize and five other Nobel Prizes will be officially conferred in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of award founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.
Literature laureates have skipped the ceremony before. In 2004, Austrian playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek stayed home, citing a social phobia.
Harold Pinter and Alice Munro missed the ceremony for health reasons in 2005 and 2013, respectively.
Only two people have declined a Nobel Prize in literature. Boris Pasternak did so under pressure from Soviet authorities in 1958 and Jean-Paul Sartre, who declined all official honours, turned it down in 1964.
Although Dylan has not commented publicly on winning the Nobel, privacy and the price of fame have been themes in his music.
Each of this year’s Nobel Prizes is worth 8 million Swedish kronor, or about Dhs3.3 million.