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A mem­ber of the Swedish Academy that awarded Bob Dy­lan the No­bel Prize has ac­cused him of be­ing “im­po­lite and ar­ro­gant” for fail­ing to re­turn phone calls. As Craig Brown says in the Mail, to at­tack Dy­lan for be­ing im­po­lite is a bit like at­tack­ing Humpty Dumpty for be­ing egg-shaped. His fans wor­ship him for turn­ing his back on them at con­certs, and for just grunt­ing be­tween songs, “which he then pro­ceeds to man­gle”. Even those who meet him are per­versely de­lighted by his stand-off­ish­ness. A fan once came up and said: “You don’t know who I am, but I know who you are.” To which Dy­lan replied: “Let’s keep it that way.” No won­der the Academy is wor­ried he will fail to show up for the prizewin­ners’ white-tie ban­quet in Stockholm in De­cem­ber.

Jeremy O’Grady

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