Swedish Academy Member Calls Bob Dylan Impolite and Arrogant

Posted on October 24, 2016

Bob Dylan continues to cause controversy. A member of the Swedish Academy has denounced Dylan's boorish behavior in failing to even acknowledge the desperate attempts of the Academy to contact him to tell him he just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The New York Times reports that writer and committee member Per Wastberg called Bob Dylan "impolite and arrogant" for his failure to respond to the honor.

Wastberg gave an interview to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Saturday, saying, "One can say that it is impolite and arrogant. He is who he is." Dylan's web team had updated his Facebook page and website with the honor, but now those mentions have been removed. Why were they removed? Did Dylan blast his web team for daring to mention the honor without his permission? And, more importantly, why is he ghosting the Swedish Academy?

The Swedish Academy, which loathes any kind of controversy, issued a statement responding to Per Wastberg's comments. It said, "The Swedish Academy has never held a view on a prizewinner's decision in this context, neither will it now, regardless of the decision reached. A member of the academy, Per Wastberg, has publicly expressed his disappointment at Bob Dylan's omitted response. This is Mr. Wastberg’s private opinion and is not to be taken as the official standpoint of the Swedish Academy."

We think it's highly unlikely that Dylan is going to show up to receive his award. We also think that the chances of any American writer winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in the next decade just dropped to near zero. Dylan's behavior is unconscionably rude. If he disdains awards on principle, he should at least graciously acknowledge the honor and politely decline.

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