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He’s not going all the way to bloody Sweden to pick it up, but Bob Dylan is still dead chuffed with his Nobel Prize

By | Published on Thursday 17 November 2016

Bob Dylan

Well, this has turned out to be quite a rollercoaster ride, hasn’t it? Bob Dylan has now confirmed that he will not turn up in Stockholm to receive his Nobel Prize For Literature on 10 Dec.

Quick recap: Bob Dylan was named the winner of the prize. He didn’t acknowledge it for two weeks, leaving everyone to assume he thought it was a stupid prize and didn’t want it. Then when he finally spoke, he said that it was “amazing” and that he really did want it. He also said he would turn up to receive the prize, but he wouldn’t speak to the bloody press about it, thank you.

Now he’s confirmed that he’s still well up for being a Nobel Prize winner, but “pre-existing commitments” mean he won’t actually be able to come and pick it up. His current tour finishes on 23 Nov, so I assume he’s got to wait in on 10 Dec because his boiler’s being serviced. You know what it’s like, they’ve only told you that they’ll be there between 8am and 6pm, and they might come really early, but he can’t risk saying that he’ll definitely pop over to Sweden only for them to turn up at five to six.

In a statement, award organiser the Swedish Academy said that it had “received a personal letter from Bob Dylan, in which he explained that due to pre-existing commitments, he is unable to travel to Stockholm in December and therefore will not attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony”.

However, it added, “he underscored, once again, that he feels very honoured indeed, wishing that he could receive the prize in person”.

Honoured, he is. Super honoured. This situation, the Academy noted, is “unusual, to be sure, but not exceptional”, with a number of recipients deciding not to attend the ceremony in the past. “The prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan”, it said.

This doesn’t mean Dylan is never going to Stockholm though. There’s still the matter of the lecture that he must give within six months of 10 Dec if he wants to receive his prize money. Unlike the prize itself, that is not automatically his. The Academy has already said it would accommodate ideas that don’t fit a traditional lecture, such as a concert, but no indication has yet been given on Dylan’s plans there.

Who Dylan will send in his place on 10 Dec has not yet been announced either. I hope it’s Anthony Keidis.