Dylan was announced as the winner of the coveted Nobel Prize in Literature on October 13, but aside from a factual tweet and brief mention on his official website, the news has been met with total silence by the troubadour.
The Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, has made numerous efforts to get a hold of Dylan to deliver the news in a more personal manner, but after several unsuccessful attempts, the academy earlier this week announced it had given up.
On Friday, the brief text on the musician’s official website that mentioned the win appeared to have disappeared.
“You could could call it rude and arrogant. He is the person he is,” Per Wästberg, a Swedish Academy committee member, was quoted as telling Swedish broadcaster SVT.
According to an unnamed source cited by Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, Dylan himself ordered the Nobel-prize mention to be removed.
“It wasn’t really unexpected. He seems to be pretty moody and reluctant so I’m not that surprised,” Wästberg said after the academy noted that the information had been removed from Dylan’s website.
Wästberg said the academy will now keep a low profile when it comes to Dylan and that it is up to the musician himself whether he wants to come and pick up the prize at a ceremony in Stockholm in December.
“Either he will come, and in that case he is welcome. Or he doesn’t, and in that case we’ll arrange something else during the festivities. He is a laureate whatever he might say,” Wästberg said.
On Saturday, the academy’s Permanent Secretary Sara Danius issued a press release distancing the academy from Wästberg’s comments.
“A writer who has been named a Nobel prize laureate decides her- or himself how she or he wants to relate to the ceremonies linked to the distribution of the prize. The Swedish Academy has never had any opinions on a laureate’s decision on this matter and doesn’t this time either, she wrote.
“One of the academy’s member’s, Per Wästberg, has expressed his disappointment over the fact that Bob Dylan hasn’t responded. This shall be viewed as his personal opinion and not an official statement from the Swedish Academy,” Danius said in the statement.
Dylan, 75, whose lyrics have influenced generations of fans, is the first songwriter to win the literature prize.
Other contenders for this year's prize included Salman Rushdie, Adonis and Ngugi wa Thiong'o.
Every December 10th, Nobel prize winners are invited to Stockholm to receive their awards from King Carl XVI Gustaf and to give a speech during a banquet.