The 75 years old ‘blowing in the wind’ superstar finally accepted the 2016 Nobel prize in the field of literature awarded to him for “having created a new poetic expression within great American song tradition”, after months of ambiguity and controversies at a personal ceremony in Stockholm on Saturday; the gold medal and the diploma were finally delivered to him. However, Bob Dylan is required to give his conventional Nobel lecture by June 10, failing which he can lose the monetary reward associated with the prize: eight million Kronor.
“Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, are my songs literature?”
In 2016, Bob Dylan became the first musician in the history to be honored by a Nobel Prize in literature; the prize has always been co-related to poets, writers, and novelists. Dylan did not attend the Nobel ceremony held in Stockholm in December, where he was supposed to receive the honor and instead a US ambassador read out his speech, which said, “Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, are my songs literature?” He had made the announcement in mid-November that we won’t be able to make it to the ceremony because of “Pre-Existing Commitments”.
“Impolite and arrogant”
His absence from the ceremony embedded more fire in the already deep hole of controversies evoked by his nominated for the prize. Dylan kept mute and did not acknowledge any of the calls made by the Academy for weeks after the announcement of him being the winner of the prize; this perplexing attitude even instigated Per Wastberg, an Academy member to brand him as “impolite and arrogant”
“If someone had ever told me that I had the slightest chance of winning the Nobel Prize, I would have to think that I’d have about the same odds as standing on the moon”
However, after some time, Dylan came out and admitted guilt for not being able to attend the December Nobel ceremony and enunciated astonishment for being named for an honor previously awarded to literature titans like Thomas Mann and Earnest Hemmingway. “If someone had ever told me that I had the slightest chance of winning the Nobel Prize, I would have to think that I’d have about the same odds as standing on the moon”, he said.
“a very kind, nice man”
Nevertheless, in spite of all early confusions, the 12 Academy members who attended the ceremony on Saturday were happy and satisfied. Klas Ostergren, an Academy member confirmed “It went very well indeed” and added that Dylan was “a very kind, nice man”.