By Amanda Wicks
Last week, the Nobel Committee announced they would be awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature to none other than songwriter Bob Dylan, which caused all kinds of reactions from fellow singer/songwriters who praised the decision to some who questioned whether writing lyrics counted as literature. For his part, Dylan has remained silent about the honor, so silent in fact that he hasn’t confirmed whether he will attend the ceremony.
On December 10th, the Nobel Prizes winners will gather in Stockholm, Sweden, where they will participate in a banquet and receive their respective Nobel Medals, a Nobel Diploma as well as an official document from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden confirming their prize. But Permanent Secretary Sara Danius has had trouble getting Dylan on the phone to confirm his attendance. “I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies,” she reportedly said on state radio. “For now, that is certainly enough” (via Pitchfork).
Even though Dylan himself has yet to say whether he will go or not Danius added, “I am not at all worried. I think he will show up.” If he chooses not to skip the ceremony, he will still be awarded the prize. “If he doesn’t want to come, he won’t come,” she said. “It will be a big party in any case and the honor belongs to him.”
Dylan has a history of being aloof when it comes to hallowed performances or appearances. When he played at the White House in 2010, he didn’t participate to the same extent other musicians had. President Obama spoke with Rolling Stone at the time, and said that Dylan didn’t rehearse or take pictures with him or attend the meet and greet before the show. “Here’s what I love about Dylan: He was exactly as you’d expect he would be,” Obama said, adding later, “[he] finishes the song, steps off the stage—I’m sitting right in the front row—comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin, and then leaves. And that was it—then he left. That was our only interaction with him. And I thought: That’s how you want Bob Dylan, right? You don’t want him to be all cheesin’ and grinnin’ with you. You want him to be a little skeptical about the whole enterprise.”