Bob Dylan Speaks, At Last, On His Nobel

Source: The New York Times, October 28

Bob DylanWe finally have an answer. Bob Dylan will, indeed, accept his Nobel Prize in Literature – probably.

In his first comments on the award, made in an interview with The Telegraph, the British newspaper, Mr. Dylan was asked whether he would attend the Nobel ceremony in Sweden in December. His response was characteristically mysterious. “Absolutely,” Mr. Dylan said. “If it’s at all possible.”

His comments in the interview – ostensibly to promote a new exhibition of his visual art in London – came after two weeks of public silence by Mr. Dylan about the Nobel, during which time members of the 18-person Swedish Academy became increasingly agitated. First they noted, with some puzzlement, that they had not spoken to Mr. Dylan personally. Then another member called his non-response “impolite and arrogant.” (And why couldn’t they reach him? “Well, I’m right here,” Mr. Dylan said, “playfully,” and without further explanation.)

In the interview, his first in almost two years, Mr. Dylan is described as being surprised but pleased by the honor. “It’s hard to believe,” he said. His reaction upon being told that he had won: “Amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?”

In typical fashion, he also resisted giving much endorsement to interpretations of his work – even those by the Swedish Academy, which, in announcing Mr. Dylan’s prize on October 13, likened his songs to the poems of Homer and Sappho.

“I suppose so, in some way,” Mr. Dylan said of that comparison. Some of his songs, including Ballad of Hollis Brown, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Hurricane and “some others,” he said, “definitely are Homeric in value.” But: “I’ll let other people decide what they are,” he said.

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3 responses to “Bob Dylan Speaks, At Last, On His Nobel

  1. Michael Gundy

    In other words, concentrate on the art not the artist.

  2. A nice comparison to Tagore (another songster) in the Guardian. And I think “Our Bobness” has been fairly consistent throughout.