Bob Dylan Bows Out of Nobel Prize Ceremony
The famous former Woodstock resident has declined to attend the Stockholm ceremony in December
In 1968, the Saturday Evening Post commissioned a photo shoot at Dylan’s Byrdcliffe home in Woodstock. When photographer Elliott Landy showed up, Dylan picked up a guitar and started strumming.
elliott landy © / www.elliottlandy.com
After much speculation, it’s been revealed that the latest Nobel laureate is bowing out of the December ceremony to accept his prize in person.
The Swedish Academy (Svenska Akademien), which awards the Nobel Prize in Literature, announced on November 16 that legendary songwriter Bob Dylan sent them a letter saying he would not be able to travel to Stockholm in December “and therefore will not attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony.
“He underscored, once again, that he feels very honored indeed, wishing that he could receive the prize in person,” the Academy continued in a press release.
It is unusual for awardees to miss such a prestigious ceremony, but the Academy said it’s not unprecedented: Laureates Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter, and Elfriede Jelinek are among those who have not attended.
“The prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan,” the Academy stressed.
Dylan took his time acknowledging the honor back in October – it was announced October 10, but the reclusive bard didn’t respond for a couple of weeks.
Lag time is nothing new to the Nobel Prize: it took years for the first prize to be awarded.
Alfred Nobel – known for inventing dynamite - signed his third and last will in 1895, and died a year later. When his will was opened and read, controversy erupted because Nobel had left much of his wealth for the establishment of a prize. His family opposed it, and because of the opposition, the first Nobel Prizes weren’t awarded until 1901, according to the Nobel Prize official website (visit it at www.nobelprize.org - in addition to lists of previous winners, you’ll find quirky tidbits like banquet menus from previous Nobel ceremonies, and a fashion spread of the gowns worn at the ceremonies by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden).
Even though he’s not venturing to Stockholm, the newly minted laureate must still meet a requirement: he must give a Nobel Lecture by June 10, 2017. The question is, will he sing it?