You can forget the US presidential elections, or Brexit, or anything else, nothing has divided the world so much this year as the honouring of Bob Dylan with a Nobel Prize. When the prize was announced in October the literature loving world was divided into two camps, those who thought him worthy, and those who reeled at the very idea.
Since the announcement, the right to the prize has been discussed to death in the world’s media and now the story has resurfaced with the news that Dylan will be a no-show for the ceremony.
Citing other commitments, Bob Dylan has written to the Nobel Prize organisers to state that he won’t be attending the ceremony in Sweden to collect the prize. He told the Swiss Academy that while he wished he could make it, other commitments make it impossible.
Although he won’t attend the ceremony, it doesn’t make any overall difference the prize is his so long as he gives a Nobel Lecture within 6 months. Dylan isn’t the first winner to be a non-attender, and he’s actually in pretty good company. British playwright Doris Lessing failed to attend his ceremony, as did Harold Pinter, and novelist Elfriede Jellinek cited social phobia as her reason for non attendance.
It’s not the first time Dylan, who has had a career spanning decades and sold 110 million records, has been appreciated for literary accolade either, he was given the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his contribution to American music and culture. His Nobel Prize has challenged what is considered to be ‘literature’, and this win is likely to be talked about for years to come.