Bob Dylan tells Nobel committee he can’t attend
Tribune News Service
— Rock legend Bob Dylan, the 2016 Nobel Literature laureate, will miss out on the Dec. 10 award ceremony “due to preexisting commitments,” the Swedish Academy said Wednesday.
The American singer-songwriter wrote a personal letter to the Academy saying that, “due to pre-existing commitments, he is unable to travel to Stockholm in December,” an Academy statement read.
It said that he had “underscored, once again, that he feels very honored indeed, wishing that he could receive the prize in person.”
“This means that he accepts the prize, but will not receive it from the hands of the king,” Permanent Secretary Sara Danius told Swedish Radio.
She underlined that “the laureates are given their Nobel prizes for what they have accomplished, not an enticement to come to Stockholm.”
The award is worth 8 million kronor ($930,000), and includes a medal and a diploma.
Danius said the letter was faxed and arrived late Tuesday.
On Oct. 13, the Academy lauded the 75-year-old Dylan for creating
“new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
Dylan — currently on tour — was long silent about the decision, but on Oct. 28 said he was “speechless” at winning the award.
The Academy noted that, in the past, other laureates have been unable to attend the ceremony in person for different reasons.
Doris Lessing, the 2007 laureate, was unable to travel to Stockholm due to ill health, as was the 2005 laureate, British playwright Harold Pinter. Another absentee was the 2004 Literature laureate Elfriede Jelinek of Austria. Most recently, Canada’s Alice Miunro was unable to travel for health reasons in 2013.
“The prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan,” the Academy said.
Dylan was, however, obliged to give a lecture within six months of Dec. 10.
Lessing’s 2007 lecture was read by her British publisher.
Dec. 10 marks the anniversary of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel’s death. Nobel, who invented dynamite, created the prizes, which are also awarded in medicine, physics, chemistry, peace and economics.
Bob Dylan performs in 2010 in London. Dylan will not attend the Dec. 10 award ceremony for the prize in Nobel Literature, citing “pre-existing commitments.”