'Speechless' Dylan breaks silence on Nobel Prize win
Bob Dylan has said he was left "speechless" after learning he had become the first musician to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The 75-year-old was controversially handed the prestigious accolade earlier this month for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".
The Swedish Academy said Dylan acknowledged the prize for the first time this week in a phone conversation.
They said he told Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy: "I appreciate the honour so much."
And he said: "The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless"
After failing to comment on the award immediately after it was announced, Dylan was called "impolite and arrogant" by an official from the Academy.
But yesterday he said he "absolutely" wants to attend December's Nobel Prize award ceremony "if it's at all possible".
He said being awarded the prize was "hard to believe", adding that it was "amazing, incredible."
"Whoever dreams about something like that?" he asked.
Dylan became the first American to win the literature prize since 'Beloved' author Toni Morrison in 1993.
His win was praised by literary figures and critics, with a leading academic hailing him as the Tennyson of our times.
Professor Seamus Perry, chair of the English Faculty at Oxford University, described Dylan as "one of the greats", saying: "He is, more than any other, the poet of our times, as Tennyson was of his: representative and yet wholly individual, humane, angry, funny, and tender by turn; really, wholly himself, one of the greats."
The decision was not received well by everyone. 'Trainspotting' author Irvine Welsh said: "I'm a Dylan fan, but this is an ill-conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies."