Art & Culture

‘Arrogant’ Bob Dylan angers Nobel authorities as he goes to ground over literature prize

Bob Dylan angers Nobel authorities for being silent

Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan is known for being uncomfortable in the spotlight. But, following his elusiveness after being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature earlier this month, the authority behind the award may now be having second thoughts on their decision.

Speaking late last week to Swedish television channel SVT, Per Wastberg, who chairs the Nobel Committee for Literature 2016, described Dylan's lack of response to the accolade as "rude and arrogant."

Last week, the musician's website removed its mention of the prize. Wastberg commented to SVT that the news was "hardly surprising. He seems to be a very grumpy and reluctant man, and I didn't find it surprising at all."

David Gaines, professor of English at Southwestern University in Texas, whose academic research includes Dylan's literary value, told CNBC via telephone that the artist's "first and foremost priority is performing his songs."

Gaines added that Dylan's public "statements are rarely about himself," citing the examples of his comments on the deaths of George Harrison, Johnny Cash and Muhammad Ali.

When asked if Dylan would travel to Stockholm to formally receive his award in December, Gaines speculated that, "he'll be there," despite the musician's apparent dislike of public events. "He's going to do what he's going to do, when he's ready," Gaines said.

Sara Danius, secretary of the Swedish Academy that awards Nobel Prizes, last week said that she had given up trying to contact the musician.

This year, each Nobel Prize is worth 8 million Swedish kronor ($897,928). Boris Pasternak, 1958 winner of the literature prize, and Jean Paul Sartre, who was awarded the accolade in 1964, are the only two winners to have turned down the literature prize.

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