Um, about that Nobel Prize... No word from Bob Dylan ahead of Sweden gigs

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Um, about that Nobel Prize... No word from Bob Dylan ahead of Sweden gigs
Bob Dylan back in 2015. Photo: Vince Bucci/Invision/AP

Bob Dylan is coming to Sweden this weekend for a series of concerts, but has not been in touch with the Swedish Academy to say whether or not he will use the opportunity to collect his Nobel Prize.


Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy which hands out the Nobel Prize in Literature, confirmed that the singer-songwriter had not been in touch in the past few months leading up to his gigs.

"The Swedish Academy looks very much forward to the weekend. The concert plans were made long before the 2016 Nobel Prize laureate in literature was selected," she wrote in her blog.

The value of the award is eight million kronor ($870,000), but the catch is that the winner has to give a Nobel lecture within six months of the award ceremony on December 10th. It does not have to be given in Sweden, but Danius pointed out last year that Dylan's April visit would be an "excellent opportunity".

"Dylan is aware that a Nobel lecture must be held by June 10th if the prize is to be paid out. That is what the Nobel Foundation's statutes say," she wrote on Monday. "What he decides to do is his own business."

The 75-year-old legend probably does not need the money, and it does not affect his Nobel status. As it turns out you are the winner of the Nobel Prize whether you want to or not, according to the Academy.

"As far as the Swedish Academy is concerned it is in any event clear that the 2016 Nobel Prize laureate in literature is Bob Dylan and no one else," wrote Danius.

The Swedish Academy stirred debate in October when it revealed its unconventional choice of the American singer-songwriter for the prestigious literature prize.

Dylan himself added to the controversy after he failed to respond to repeated phone calls made by the academy following the announcement, prompting one academy member to call him "impolite and arrogant".

He only officially accepted the prize around a fortnight later, in a phone call to the academy's permanent secretary Sara Danius, saying it had left him "speechless", but did not turn up for the award ceremony.

Dylan is set to perform in Stockholm on April 1st (yes, April Fools) and 2nd, and in Lund on April 9th.

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