Bob Dylan will not be collecting his Nobel Prize for Literature in person next month, the Swedish Academy has confirmed.
The Swedish Academy, which awards the prestigious annual prize, said in a statement today (November 16) that the iconic musician has confirmed he will be absent from the ceremony on December 10.
The Academy’s statement reads: “Yesterday evening the Swedish Academy received a personal letter from Bob Dylan, in which he explained that due to pre-existing commitments, he is unable to travel to Stockholm in December and therefore will not attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony.
“He underscored, once again, that he feels very honored indeed, wishing that he could receive the prize in person.”
The statement continues: “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.
“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.”
According to his Facebook page, Dylan has no live shows in the diary next month, 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 interciew. “[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.”