A member of the Swedish Academy that awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature to Bob Dylan says the US singer-songwriter’s silence since receiving the honour is “impolite and arrogant”.
Per Wastberg said Dylan’s lack of reaction was predictable, but disrespectful nonetheless.
The committee that awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature to Dylan says it’s up to the American singer-songwriter whether he attends the prize-giving ceremony later this year or not.
The notoriously media-shy Dylan has not yet made any comment on the $A1.2 million prize, despite repeated attempts by award-givers the Swedish Academy to contact him since it named him as the winner on October 13.
Wastberg was quoted telling the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter: “One can say that it is impolite and arrogant. He is who he is”.
Mr Wastberg said the academy still hoped to communicate with the 75-year-old artist, whose award credits him with creating “new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
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 Academy gave 75-year-old Dylan the prize for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
It was a controversial choice.
Some have questioned whether his work qualifies as literature. Others have complained that the Swedish Academy missed an opportunity to bring attention to lesser-known artists.
The award ceremony takes place each year on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death, when the King of Sweden hands each laureate a diploma and a medal, followed by a lavish banquet at Stockholm’s City Hall for about 1300 people.
If Dylan maintains his silence, he would be the first to simply ignore the Academy’s decision.