Dy­lan won’t at­tend cer­e­mony in Stock­holm

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

Bob Dy­lan won’t be com­ing to Stock­holm to pick up his 2016 No­bel Prize for lit­er­a­ture at the Dec. 10 prize cer­e­mony.

The Swedish Academy said Wed­nes­day that Dy­lan told them “he wishes he could re­ceive the prize per­son­ally, but other com­mit­ments make it un­for­tu­nately im­pos­si­ble.”

The 75-year-old Amer­i­can singer-song­writer, a for­mer Wood­stock res­i­dent, was awarded the prize on Oct. 13 “for hav­ing cre­ated new po­etic ex­pres­sions within the great Amer­i­can song tra­di­tion.”

The lit­er­a­ture prize and five other No­bel Prizes will be of­fi­cially con­ferred upon win­ners in Stock­holm next month on the an­niver­sary of award founder Al­fred No­bel’s death in 1896.

De­tails about who would ac­cept the award on Dy­lan’s be­half were un­clear — more in­for­ma­tion on that was ex­pected Fri­day.

Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary Sara Da­nius told Swedish news agency TT the academy re­ceived “a per­sonal let­ter” from Dy­lan and that he “un­der­lined that he feels ex­tremely hon­ored by the No­bel Prize.”

The academy said it “re­spects Bob Dy­lan’s de­ci­sion,” adding that not trav­el­ing to the Swedish cap­i­tal to per­son­ally pick up the pres­ti­gious award was “un­usual, but not ex­cep­tional.”

In 2004, Aus­trian play­wright and nov­el­ist El­friede Je­linek stayed home, cit­ing a so­cial pho­bia.

“The award is still theirs, as it now be­longs to Bob Dy­lan,” the academy said. “We are look­ing for­ward to Bob Dy­lan’s No­bel lec­ture, which he must hold, ac­cord­ing to the re­quire­ments, within six months” from Dec. 10.

Dy­lan took up res­i­dence in Wood­stock in the early 1960s as a mod­estly suc­cess­ful folk mu­si­cian, writ­ing songs in a room above a Tin­ker Street café and left a decade later as a bona fide leg­end in a town whose name was syn­ony­mous with the coun­ter­cul­ture of the time.

“Early on, Wood­stock was hos­pitable to us,” Dy­lan wrote in his “Chron­i­cles.” But un­for­tu­nately, he wrote, the houses at Byrd­cliffe and later on Ohayo Moun­tain Road, where Dy­lan lived with his wife and chil­dren, soon be­came a mecca for “dropouts and drug­gies,” “moochers” and “goons.”

In 1967 and 1968, Dy­lan and The Band — Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Garth Hud­son, Rob­bie Robert­son and Richard Manuel — recorded in the West Sauger­ties house known as “Big Pink,” re­sult­ing in the 1975 al­bum “The Base­ment Tapes.”

Dy­lan at first was silent af­ter the No­bel an­nounce­ment but even­tu­ally said get­ting the award left him “speech­less.”

Dy­lan has ac­cepted nu­mer­ous awards over the years, in­clud­ing the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom, which he picked up at a White House cer­e­mony in 2012. A year later, he be­came the first rock star voted into the elite Amer­i­can Academy of Arts and Let­ters, which made him an hon­orary mem­ber.

In 2000, Dy­lan trav­eled to Stock­holm to col­lect the Po­lar Mu­sic Prize from Swe­den’s King Carl XVI Gustaf.


Bob Dy­lan is shown in early 2015 in Los An­ge­les.

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