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Bob Dylan to skip Nobel ceremony

November 16, 2016 23:17 IST

Bob Dylan has told the Nobel prize committee he will not be attending the ceremony in Sweden in December to pick up his accolade.

Dylan was named winner of this year’s Nobel prize for literature in October for his vast body of lyrics and poetry but has since been reluctant to publicly acknowledge the honour.

The Academy says Dylan told them that ‘he wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible’.

The literature prize and five other Nobel Prizes will be officially conferred upon winners in Stockholm next month on the anniversary of award founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.

The Academy said it ‘respects Bon Dylan’s decision,’ adding it was an ‘unusual, but not exceptional’ decision. 

Literature laureates have skipped the ceremony before. In 2004, Austrian playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek stayed home, citing a social phobia.

“The award is still theirs, as it now belongs to Bob Dylan,” the Academy said. “We are looking forward to Bob Dylan’s Nobel lecture, which he must hold, according to the requirements, within six months’ from December 10.”

It took two weeks for the singer and songwriter to acknowledge the award, saying, “The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless. I appreciate the honour so much.” 

Photograph: Christopher Polk/Getty Images