Earlier this month, the Swedish Academy named Bob Dylan the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, marking the first time a musician has received the award. The reaction was mixed; fellow songwriters like Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen, and Leonard Cohen celebrated the news, while some authors questioned the Academy’s decision to give a musician an accolade intended to celebrate literature. For his part, Dylan seems to side with the belief that he’s not worthy. That, or he’s just entirely disinterested.
Since the announcement earlier this month, Dylan has ignored the Swedish Academy’s phone calls, declined to publicly acknowledge the award in concert, and even removed mentioning of it on his website. Based on all this, it would appear unlikely that Dylan will be in attendance for the December 10th ceremony in Stockholm honoring this year’s Nobel Prize laureate.
Now, in a new interview, a member of Swedish Academy has called Dylan’s silence “impolite and arrogant.”
“One can say that it is impolite and arrogant. He is who he is,” Per Wastberg was quoted as saying in Saturday’s edition of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, according to the Associated Press.
Wastberg said the Academy still hopes Dylan will attend the ceremony, but “We have agreed not to lift a finger. The ball lies entirely on his half,” adding, “You can speculate as much as you want but we don’t.”