Nobel Prize Academy Member Comments on Bob Dylan's Silence After Winning Award
Bob Dylan. (1972 File Photo/The Associated Press)
Bob Dylan has been silent since being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature, but a member of the Swedish Academy that issued the honor has spoken up.
“One can say that it is impolite and arrogant. He is who he is,” Wastberg was quoted as saying in Saturday’s edition of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, according to Associated Press. “…We have agreed not to lift a finger. The ball lies entirely on his half.”
The Swedish Academy announced Dylan as the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature on Oct. 13, saying that the iconic musician and songwriter “created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Dylan is the first American honoree of the award since Toni Morrison in 1993.
But Dylan has been unresponsive: he has not responded to the Academy’s attempts to reach him, nor confirmed whether he would attend the Nobel fete in Stockholm on December 10. He hasn’t even publicly acknowledged that he won the award. His website briefly called him “the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature,” but the reference has since been deleted. He has performed multiple times since the announcement and hasn’t mentioned the awards at his shows. The Guardian points out that Dylan “has always stepped away from attempts to corral him into being something he does not want to be.”
Even without Dylan’s acknowledgment, the Swedish Academy’s issuing of the award was controversial from the moment it was announced. Critics have suggested that he should refuse the award, even though the Nobel committee wouldn’t acknowledge it. Their argument is that the award should have continued its tradition of being given to a poet or author, not a songwriter whose work is dependent on being accompanied by music.