Dylan Finally Responds: Nobel ‘Amazing, Incredible’

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Bob Dylan outside his Woodstock home in 1968 © Landy Vision. Used with permission.

Bob Dylan outside his Woodstock home in 1968 © Landy Vision. Used with permission.

Update (October 28): Finally, more than two weeks after the news broke that he’d won the Nobel Prize for Literature, Bob Dylan has something to say about it. It’s “amazing, incredible,” he told journalist Edna Gunderson during an interview for The Telegraph. “It’s hard to believe…Whoever dreams about something like that?” Dylan had been hush on the subject of his win until now, making no public statement and ignoring attempts by the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, to contact him. Asked by Gunderson if he will attend the ceremony in Stockholm to accept his award, Dylan told her, “Absolutely. If it’s at all possible.” Asked then why he didn’t allow the prize committee to contact him, Dylan, in his usual cryptic way, responded, “Well, I’m right here.” Read the complete interview, which includes more about the Nobel Prize and many other topics, here.

Update (October 22): A couple of days ago, Bob Dylan’s website posted a tiny notice that sort of acknowledged that he’d won a Novel Prize for Literature the week before. Now that notice has been wiped from his site and social media pages, and Dylan still has not thanked the committee that gave it to him, nor contacted them in any manner. Per Wastberg of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel, was quoted today as saying that Dylan’s non-reaction was  disrespectful. He told the Swedish newspaper Dagens Myheter, “One can say that it is impolite and arrogant. He is who he is.” Stay tuned as this story unfolds. The award is Dylan’s whether he ever accepts it or not. The committee convenes in Stockholm on Dec. 10 to make its presentation.

Here is our original post about Dylan acknowledging the award (before he rescinded that acknowledgement)…

Most people, when they receive a Nobel Prize, are quick to acknowledge the honor. Bob Dylan is not “most people.”

To recap: Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature a week ago, on October 13. He said nothing, thanked no one. Crickets. Most peers and fans, meanwhile, applauded the choice. Some critics did not, complaining that it should go not to songwriters but authors of books and other traditional forms of writing. Leonard Cohen was one who thought it was brilliant. “To me, [giving Dylan the Nobel] is like pinning a medal on Mount Everest for being the highest mountain,” he said.

Last weekend Dylan played the second and final weekend of the Desert Trip Festival in California. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards both congratulated him during their set, which followed Dylan’s—a set during which he said, you guessed it, nothing. He ended his performance with a song called “Why Try to Change Me Now?” Was that his comment?

Dylan also performed a show in Las Vegas last week. The big news coming out of that gig was not a Nobel Prize acknowledgement but the fact that Dylan played guitar for the first time in four years. (See video clip below.)

Over the past several days, stories continued to roll out that the committee that awarded Dylan with the prestigious honor, the Swedish Academy, was knocking on Dylan’s door so they could make arrangements to physically give him the prize (which is officially his whether he ever picks up the actual prize or not). “Right now we are doing nothing. I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough,” said Sara Danius, the Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary. “I am not at all worried. I think he will show up.”

Related: Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature

The prize will be officially awarded on December 10 in Stockholm. Dylan, of course, has been invited to attend and speak. He would also receive a substantial sum of money, approximately $930,000, which one would imagine is just a drop in the bucket for a man of his wealth but still not a bad paycheck (he will get it even if he doesn’t show up).

Dylan’s tour calendar shows nothing booked for December 10, so he’d be free to make the trip—if he wanted to.

Dylan's web page acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Dylan’s web page acknowledges Nobel Prize win

All of which leads to today’s news: Dylan has finally, almost, said thanks. On his website (see above photo), which previously made no mention of the prize since it was awarded last week, there is now a headline that reads:


It appears on one page, which advertises a new collection of Dylan’s lyrics.

Watch Dylan play guitar for the first time in four years…

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