Bob Dylan has once again displayed an apparent lack of enthusiasm for his Nobel Prize.
The iconic singer-songwriter did not attend a meeting held by President Barack Obama at the White House today (November 30) for American Nobel Prize winners.
“Unfortunately, Bob Dylan will not be at the White House today. So everyone can relax,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters assembled, according to the Hill.
Obama congratulated Dylan on Twitter when it was announced he had won the Nobel Prize last month (October).
Congratulations to one of my favorite poets, Bob Dylan, on a well-deserved Nobel. https://t.co/c9cnANWPCS
— President Obama (@POTUS44) October 13, 2016
The Swedish Academy, which awards the prestigious annual prize, said in a statement last week that Dylan has confirmed he will be absent from the Nobel ceremony on December 10.
The statement said that Dylan had written a personal letter explaining that “pre-existing commitments” had prevented him from attending.
The Academy added: “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.”
The Academy has since added in a new statement: “The Swedish Academy has decided not to organize an alternative plan for the Nobel Lecture traditionally held on December 7th.
“There is a chance that Bob Dylan will be performing in Stockholm next year, possibly in the spring, in which case he will have a perfect opportunity to deliver his lecture. We will post more information as soon as we have it.”
According to his Facebook page, Dylan has no live shows in the diary in December, suggesting his “pre-existing commitments” are of a personal nature.
Dylan was announced as the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature on October 13. The Academy praised him for “creating new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. Despite this, Dylan failed initially to acknowledge the honour, and was branded “impolite and arrogant” by one member of the Academy for failing to respond.
Dylan finally spoke about being awarded the Nobel Prize over two weeks after it was announced he was receiving the honour.
“It’s hard to believe,” he told the Daily Telegraph in an interview. “[Being awarded the Nobel Prize is] amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?”
Asked why he chose to stay silent about it for so long, Dylan only replied: “Well, I’m right here.”