A member of the Swedish Academy, the group that bestows the Nobel Prize, has spoken out about Bob Dylan‘s overall lack of recognition about winning their literature honor. “One can say that it is impolite and arrogant,” writer Per Wästberg said.
“He is who he is,” Wästberg continued to Sweden’s SVT public television (via The Guardian). “This is an unprecedented situation.”
In a separate interview to the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Wästberg added, “We were aware that [Dylan] can be difficult and that he does not like appearances when he stands alone on the stage.”
Since announcing that Dylan would be the recipient of their Nobel Prize in Literature – the first American winner since Toni Morrison in 1993 – the Swedish Academy have tried fruitlessly to get in touch with Dylan, who has not acknowledged the award nor confirmed whether he would attend the December 10th Nobel fete in Stockholm.
Earlier in the week, the Swedish Academy’s permanent secretary Sara Danius admitted they have been unable to get in contact with Dylan. “Right now we are doing nothing,” Danius said. “I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough.”
On October 13th, the Swedish Academy announced they were honoring Dylan for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Since then though, Dylan has remained silent on the matter, even at his high-profile performance at Desert Trip.
Dylan, or at least his official website, finally acknowledged that he was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature in the description for his upcoming book of lyrics The Lyrics: 1961-2012. However, less than 24 hours after the Nobel mention was made, the line “Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature” was removed from the product description without explanation, NBC reported.