Bob Dylan has accepted the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature, the Swedish Academy says, adding that getting the prestigious award left him “speechless”.
The academy’s permanent secretary, Sara Danius, said Dylan himself contacted them and said “of course” he would accept the prize.
Danius told Sweden’s TT news agency that Dylan called her on Tuesday evening and they spoke for about 15 minutes.
“The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless,” Dylan told Danius, according to a statement posted on Friday on the academy’s website. “I appreciate the honour so much.”
It has not yet been decided whether Dylan will attend any Nobel events in Stockholm in December, Danius said.
In an interview with British newspaper The Telegraph posted on Friday, Dylan was quoted as saying he “absolutely” wants to attend the December 10 prize ceremony, “if it’s at all possible”.
Dylan said that when he was first told of the honour, it was “amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?”
Danius said the academy would do “all it can” to have a schedule suiting Dylan if he wants to come to Stockholm, according to TT.
The 75-year-old singer-songwriter was awarded the prize on October 13 “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
Dylan at first was silent after the announcement, and a member of the Swedish Academy called the silence “impolite and arrogant”.
Dylan has accepted numerous awards over the years, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for which he attended a White House ceremony in 2012. But he also has a history of taking his time acknowledging them.
Congratulations to one of my favorite poets, Bob Dylan, on a well-deserved Nobel. https://t.co/c9cnANWPCS
— President Obama (@POTUS) October 13, 2016
In 2013, he became the first rock star voted into the elite American Academy of Arts and Letters, which made him an honorary member.
According to executive director Virginia Dajani, the academy informed Dylan of the decision – through his manager Jeff Rosen – in January of that year. Only in May 2013 did Dylan respond, through his manager.
If Dylan travels to Stockholm for the Nobel ceremony, it won’t be the first time he receives an award from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf. In 2000, Dylan collected the Polar Music Prize from him.
– with AAP