Wednesday 7 December 2016

Dylan snubs Nobel prize ceremony due to 'other commitments'

Jan M Olsen

Published 17/11/2016 | 02:30

Bob Dylan was 'speechless'. Photo: AP
Bob Dylan was 'speechless'. Photo: AP

Bob Dylan won't be going to Stockholm to pick up his 2016 Nobel Prize for literature at the ceremony next month.

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The Swedish Academy said yesterday that Mr 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 was awarded the prize on October 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 Mr Dylan's behalf at the ceremony on December 10 were unclear - more information on that was expected tomorrow.

Permanent secretary Sara Danius told Swedish news agency TT the academy received "a personal letter" from Mr Dylan and that he "underlined that he feels extremely honoured by the Nobel Prize".

The Academy said it "respects Bob Dylan's decision," adding that not travelling 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 December 10.

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

The music legend has accepted numerous prizes and awards over the years, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he picked up at a White House ceremony in 2012.

Irish Independent

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