Bob Dylan likely to refuse Nobel Prize

Picture shows a view of a mural of Bob Dylan, the 2016 Nobel Prize victor in literature, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., October 13, 2016.

Dylan is the first musician in the 115-year history of the Nobel Prize to win the award for literature.

The 75-year-old American is the first singer-songwriter to be awarded the prize. Per Wastberg said Dylan's lack of reaction to the honor the academy bestowed on him this month was predictable but disrespectful nonetheless.

"We were aware that he can be hard and that he does not like appearances when he stands alone on the stage", Mr Wastberg told Sweden's Dagens Nyheter newspaper in a separate interview. Except because he's Bob Dylan, he's being really weird about it, refusing to acknowledge it in any way and completely ignoring the Swedish Academy's attempts to contact him.

"This is an unprecedented situation", Wastberg said.

Bob Dylan is learning the hard way that it is not smart to piss off the Swedes, especially the Nobel Prize committee.

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The renowned singer's reaction has prompted concerns that he could not even attend the prize-giving ceremony in Stockholm in December.

On learning she had won the prize in 2007, having returned from doing her shopping in London, the Zimbabwe-born author Doris Lessing responded: "Oh Christ".

"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.

"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.

Dylan has not spoken publicly about the win, which took into account six decades of song lyrics, praised by the academy as creating "new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition". Boris Pasternak did so under pressure from Soviet authorities in 1958 and Jean-Paul Sartre, who declined all official honours, turned it down in 1964.

  • Michelle Webb