Dylan says Nobel left him ‘speechless’

Dylan says Nobel left him 'speechless'
Bob Dylan on stage in Carhaix, France, in 2012. Photo: David Vincent/AP
Bob Dylan has finally accepted his Nobel prize for literature, the Swedish Academy that awards it said Friday, breaking his silence on the win that he said left him "speechless".

Asked “if I accept the prize? Of course”, the US singer-songwriter said in a call to the academy this week, around a fortnight after he was named laureate on October 13.

“The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless,” he told the academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius. “I appreciate the honour so much.”

Dylan had not responded to repeated phone calls made by the academy following the prize announcement, nor had he made any public statement, prompting one academy member to call him “impolite and arrogant”.

According to Swedish tabloid Expressen, Danius had at first missed Dylan’s call from New York, but then spoke to the singer for 15 minutes after phoning him back.

“Dylan was very nice, humble and humourous,” she wrote on her Facebook wall.

Danius later told Swedish Radio that Dylan is in no way obliged to attend the ceremony, but that he would be required to hold some sort of lecture or even sing a song.

“I hope he will do what he desires to do,” she said, adding that this could be made possible via, for example, a video link if he isn't able to make it to the Swedish capital in person.

She said  the academy would “do everything it can” to adapt the festivities to Dylan's wishes.

Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf usually hands out prizes and cheques to all the Nobel winners at a banquet on December 10.

In an interview with Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper published late on Friday Dylan said that if his busy schedule would allow him, he would be more than happy to pick up the prize in Stockholm.

“Absolutely. If it's at all possible.”

Dylan told the paper that the award was “amazing, incredible”, saying:”It's hard to believe.”

He added: “Whoever dreams about something like that?”

Asked why he did not respond to the academy's calls, Dylan said: “Well, I'm right here.”

Dylan, whose lyrics have influenced generations of fans, is the first songwriter to win the literature prize.