There have been a lot of mixed reviews regarding Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize Award for Literacy in October of last year; his refusal to accept, or even attend the ceremony in December, has caused just about the same reaction.
His fans are taking it as an act of courage and a representation of his nostalgia; protecting the integrity of his talent, and the work that he does. Ultimately, viewed by many, as his way of steering away from the mass media, simply to boast of his accomplishments.
Others, however, have taken his response negatively, and are left even more unsatisfied at the committee’s choice, to begin with. Many are assuming that his non-attendance was a statement being made that he was ‘too good’ for such an award — or perhaps, he agrees with some of the public, in the fact that he is undeserving of the award. Even the Nobel committee’s chairman referred to Dylan as “impolite and arrogant.”
Regardless of the mixed reviews, Dylan has been named the 2016 recipient for Literacy, specifically for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
Based on the below quotes – which are just a few of many – it appears that Dylan definitely fits the criteria. He thinks on a deeper level, some understand it, some do not.
Dylan however, isn’t bothered either way and that in itself is one of the many reasons that people simply adore him.
Whether he wanted the award or not, or felt deserving of such an accolade, Dylan will be accepting what is rightfully his within hours. At his request, no media will be involved. You can read more about this in the article below, originally posted by NPR on March 29, 2017.
The following article was originally posted by:
NPR & Written by Colin Drwyer on March 29.2017
Bob Dylan will be accepting his Nobel Prize in literature this weekend, according to the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy. In a blog post on Tuesday, Sara Danius announced the “good news” that members of the academy will be meeting with Dylan when he makes a tour stop in Stockholm.
“The Swedish Academy is very much looking forward to the weekend and will show up at one of the performances” Dylan is delivering on Saturday and Sunday, Danius writes. “The Academy will then hand over Dylan’s Nobel diploma and the Nobel medal, and congratulate him on the Nobel Prize in Literature.”
She adds: “The setting will be small and intimate, and no media will be present; only Bob Dylan and members of the Academy will attend, all according to Dylan’s wishes.”
In a previous post, Danius was careful to note that the tour date in Stockholm had been planned well before Dylan won the prize, which he was awarded in October “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” according to the Swedish Academy’s citation.
“He is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition, and he is a wonderful sampler — a very original sampler,” Danius said at the time, explaining the decision to award a musician a prize that for more than a century has principally been doled out to novelists, poets and essayists.
Yet the unusual decision was just the first installment of what came to be an unusual saga — as Dylan first waited more than two weeks to acknowledge the award, then begged off attending the December ceremony where it was to be doled out. Dylan sent a personal letter to the academy saying he could not make it to Stockholm then due to “pre-existing commitments.”
Instead, Patti Smith spelled Dylan for a moving rendition of his classic, “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.”
“Please note that no Nobel Lecture will be held. The Academy has reason to believe that a taped version will be sent at a later point,” Danius says in her post, noting that if he sends a taped lecture, he will not be the first.
Alice Munro, the 2013 laureate, had to send a taped lecture because of health woes, as we reported then.
Dylan did, however, write an acceptance speech for the December ceremony that was delivered by the U.S. ambassador to Sweden, Azita Raji.
“If someone had ever told me that I had the slightest chance of winning the Nobel prize,” Dylan wrote, “I would have to think that I’d have about the same odds as standing on the moon.”