honors and awards

Nobel Academy Member: Bob Dylan’s Silence Is ‘Arrogant and Impolite’

US legend Bob Dylan performs on stage du
Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images

The ongoing saga of Bob Dylan not acknowledging his Nobel Prize in Literature has now earned itself another antagonist. Since being bestowed with the prestigious award last week, Dylan has yet to formally comment on the achievement his official website briefly mentioned the Nobel on a page publicizing his upcoming book of lyrics, only for it to be removed a day later. (Academy secretary Sara Danius hasn’t been deterred, though, saying that she has “called and sent emails to [Dylan’s] closest collaborator and received very friendly replies.”) However, another member of the academy isn’t quite as optimistic as Danius, and is even expressing a bit of annoyance over Dylan’s lack of timely communiqué.

In two new interviews with Swedish SVT public television and Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, as translated by The Guardian and The Associated Press, Nobel Academy member Per Wästberg had some choice words about the singer-songwriter’s silence. “One can say that it is impolite and arrogant,” Wästberg said on television. “He is who he is. This is an unprecedented situation.” He later told Dagens Nyheter that the academy is still optimistic a response will come, but they won’t be pushing Dylan for an answer. “We were aware that he can be difficult and that he does not like appearances when he stands alone on the stage … we have agreed not to lift a finger,” Wästberg said. “The ball lies entirely on his half. You can speculate as much as you want but we don’t.” The Nobel ceremony will take place on December 10 in Stockholm.

Nobel Member: Bob Dylan’s Silence Is ‘Arrogant’