After months of confusion and conflict, singer Bob Dylan will finally accept the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Dylan, 75, was awarded the prestigious honour in October, but was unable to travel to Stockholm in December for the ceremony “due to pre-existing commitments.”
The Academy’s personal secretary Prof Sara Danius wrote in a blog post: “The good news is that the Swedish Academy and Bob Dylan have decided to meet this weekend. The Academy will then hand over Dylan’s Nobel diploma and the Nobel medal, and congratulate him on the Nobel Prize in Literature.” The iconic singer-songwriter and academy will meet in Stockholm where Dylan is performing two concerts.
Danius described the ceremony as a very private affair. “The setting will be small and intimate, and no media will be present; only Bob Dylan and members of the Academy will attend, all according to Dylan’s wishes.”
Dylan will not deliver his Nobel lecture while he is in Sweden, however. The Academy expects him to send a taped version of his lecture by June 10; Dylan will forfeit his US$900,000 prize money if he fails to do so.
Some members of the Academy felt disrespected after the “Forever Young” singer did not publicly acknowledge his Nobel Prize win for more than a week after it was announced. One unnamed member of the Academy described Dylan’s non-response as “impolite and arrogant.”
On Saturday, December 10 iconic punk rock singer Patti Smith was sent to perform in Dylan’s place. Part-way through her performance of Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”, Smith forgot the words and halted the performance. “I’m sorry, I’m so nervous,” she explained to a supportive crowd.
That same evening, Swedish academy member Horace Engdahl gave a speech honouring Dylan in the latter’s stead.