Swedish Academy says up to Dylan if he wants to come to receive Nobel Prize

The committee that awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan said on October 22nd it was up to the American singer-songwriter whether to attend the prize-giving ceremony later this year or not.

(VNF) - The committee that awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan said on October 22nd it was up to the American singer-songwriter whether to attend the prize-giving ceremony later this year or not.

The American singer-songwriter, a cultural icon of dissent and protest from the 1960s onward, has said nothing about the award announced two weeks ago. But under Nobel rules, the winner must give one lecture on literature - or in Dylan's case even a concert - within six months to receive the USD 900,000 prize money.

Swedish Academy says up to Dylan if he wants to come to receive Nobel Prize

Bob Dylan performs during a segment honoring Director Martin Scorsese, recipient of the Music + Film Award, at the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Los Angeles January 12th, 2012. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Per Wastberg, a member of Swedish Academy that presents the award, has said that Dylan's silence is "rude and arrogant".

The Academy, however said Wastberg's comments did not reflect their view.

"The author awarded the Noble Prize makes up his or her own mind regarding the ceremonies involved in the presentation of the prize," Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Academy, said in a statement.

"The Swedish Academy has never held a view on a prize winner’s decision in this context, neither will it now, regardless of the decision reached."

The Nobel Foundation does not accept any rejections of the prize - Dylan's name will be listed as the winner in 2016 whatever he says. But the award money is a different matter.

As a condition, Dylan must give a lecture on a subject "relevant to the work for which the prize has been awarded" no later than six months after December 10th, the anniversary of dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel's death.

"That is what we ask for in return," said Jonna Petterson, spokeswoman for the Nobel Foundation, adding Dylan could also opt to give a concert instead of a lecture. "Yes, we are trying to find an arrangement that suits the laureate (Dylan)."

The lecture need not be delivered in Stockholm. When British novelist Doris Lessing was awarded the Nobel literature prize in 2007, she was too ill to travel. Instead, she composed a lecture and sent it to her Swedish publisher, who read it out at a ceremony in the Swedish capital.

The Academy honored the 75-year-old Dylan for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

Dylan's songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind", "The Times They Are A-Changin'", "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and "Like a Rolling Stone" captured the rebellious and anti-war spirit of the 1960s generation and moved many young people later as well.

The Swedish Academy's choice of Dylan drew some controversy with many questioning whether his work qualifies as literature, while others complained that the Academy missed an opportunity to bring attention to lesser-known artists.

If Dylan maintains his silence, he would be the first to simply ignore the Academy's decision.

Over the years, only six laureates have declined the prize. Some Nobel laureates have been too ill to travel to the ceremony. One of them was French existentialist author Jean-Paul Sartre in 1964. After Sartre fell on hard times a few years later his lawyer wrote the Nobel foundation asking them to send Sartre the money. The Academy said his refusal did not affect the validity of the award, but they would not be able to give it to him./.

( Compiled by VNF )

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