Yesterday evening I received a personal letter from Bob Dylan, who explained that he will be unable to make it to Stockholm in December and therefore will not attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony. He added that he wished he could receive the prize in person, but that pre-existing commitments make it impossible. He underscored, once again, that he feels very honored.
The Swedish Academy certainly respects Dylan’s decision. That laureates decide not to come is unusual, to be sure, but not exceptional. In the recent past, several laureates have, for various reasons, been unable to come to Stockholm to receive the prize, among them Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter, and Elfriede Jelinek. The Nobel Prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan.
We look forward to Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture, which he will have to deliver – it is the only requirement — within six months counting from December 10, 2016.
More information will follow on Friday, November 18.