Nobel Prize Committee Can’t Get Hold of Bob Dylan
Electric Lit is committed to publishing—and paying writers—through the pandemic without any layoffs or pay cuts. Please consider supporting us during this difficult time. Donate here.
The Swedish Academy’s newest laureate doesn’t seem too interested in the prize.
Last Thursday the Swedish Academy announced its provocative decision to award Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize for Literature. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the choice — except Dylan himself. According to the Guardian, Dylan has ignored the Academy secretary’s persistent attempts to get in contact. Like any regular person who tries to rationalize the awkwardness of double texting, Secretary Sara Danius says she’s “not at all worried” about the superstar’s radio silence. Still, it must feel a little strange, especially considering that Dylan has been out in public and performing in concerts since the announcement.
Since the Academy overlooked more traditional “writers” like Don DeLillo, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, and Marilynne Robinson, and since there’s a pretty big party that goes along with the official awarding of the prize, one can’t help but wonder whether the committee was at all influenced by the prospect of a free Dylan show. So far a concert isn’t looking promising, but there’s still time — the prizes are handed out in December. For now, the Academy will be waiting by the phone.
UPDATE: Rumor has it Philip Roth’s agent has contacted the Academy to let the powers-that-be know the author has started taking guitar lessons and will be ready to stand in Dylan’s place on the night of the celebration.