Bob Dylan Refuses to Attend Nobel Prize Ceremony

Posted on November 16, 2016

Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde cover

After telling a British reporter that he would do his best to attend the ceremony in which he was to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature by King Gustav of Sweden, Bob Dylan has now declined to show up for the ceremony. The Swedish Academy said in a statement that the singer songwriter has a scheduling conflict that prevents him from flying to Stockholm to receive the world's most prestigious writing award.

The Academy received a letter from Dylan explaining that he is "very honored" by the award, and wishes he could receive the award in person, but that pre-existing commitments prevent him from attending.

The Academy attempted to put out the fires that have swept through the literary world since Dylan was awarded the prize, but refused to even acknowledge it. They said, "That laureates decide not to come is unusual, to be sure, but not exceptional. In the recent past, several laureates have, for various reasons, been unable to come to Stockholm to receive the prize, among them Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter, and Elfriede Jelinek. The prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan."

The Academy noted that he does not have to show up to the ceremony to receive the award. But they sternly noted that he must give his Nobel Lecture, or he would lose the prize, saying, "We look forward to Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture, which he must give -- it is the only requirement -- within six months counting from December 10, 2016."

This is the Nobel Prize -- he should cancel anything he has scheduled and get on a plane to Stockholm. The whole thing has been a disaster from beginning to end, especially given the number of very qualified writers who would jump at the chance to head to Sweden. So, will Bob Dylan really prepare and give his required Nobel lecture? It seems highly unlikely to us.

Photo: Columbia

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