Has Bob Dylan run out of words? The man famous for putting them together in a way that has delighted millions of fans over the last 55 years is yet to offer any in recognition of his recent prize for literature. The Nobel Prize committee can’t even get a single syllable out of him.
Four days after the Swedish Academy awarded Dylan the prestigious prize “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” it said it’s given up trying to contact him about the accolade.
“Right now we are doing nothing. I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough,” the academy’s Sara Danius told Swedish radio this week.
When the award was announced last Thursday, the Associated Press contacted Dylan’s team for a response but was told by a representative that he had “no immediate comment.”
Later the same day, Dylan played a live show in Las Vegas. Again, the singer-songwriter made no mention of the prize, though some commentators speculated as to whether his final song, a cover of Frank Sinatra’s Why Try To Change Me Now, may have been a supremely subtle nod to the news.
And on Friday, performing at the Desert Trip festival in California, the whole matter slipped Dylan’s mind again, the 75-year-old wordsmith opting to save his voice for his singing performance rather than risking it on any acknowledgement of the prize.
But his continued silence on the subject now has some people wondering if he’ll bother heading over to Sweden on December 10 to accept the award from King Carl XVI Gustaf. Danius, for one, doesn’t seem overly concerned.
“I’m not at all worried, I think he’ll show up,” she said, adding, “If he doesn’t want to come, he won’t come. It will be a big party in any case and the honor belongs to him.”