Bob Dylan too busy for Nobel Prize for literature

In announcing the award, the Swedish Academy said the singer-songwriter had "created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

Bob Dylan won't be coming to Stockholm to pick up his 2016 Nobel Prize for literature at the December 10 prize ceremony.

The Swedish Academy has said that Dylan told them, "he wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible."

The 75-year-old American singer-songwriter was awarded the prize on October 13 "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition."

Bob Dylan says he wishes he could pick up his Nobel Prize in person but he has "other commitments".
KI PRICE/REUTERS

Bob Dylan says he wishes he could pick up his Nobel Prize in person but he has "other commitments".

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.

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US music legend Bob Dylan, whose poetic lyrics have influenced generations of fans, won the Nobel Literature Prize, the first songwriter to win the award in a decision that stunned prize watchers. But should it?

Details about who would accept the award on Dylan's behalf were unclear - with more information expected Friday.

Permanent Secretary Sara Danius told Swedish news agency TT the academy received a personal letter from Dylan, and that he "underlined that he feels extremely honoured by the Nobel Prize."

The Academy said it respected Dylan's decision, adding that not travelling to the Swedish capital to personally pick up the prestigious award was "unusual, but not exceptional."

In 2004, Austrian playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek stayed home, citing a social phobia.

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"We are looking forward to Bob Dylan's Nobel lecture, which he must hold, according to the requirements, within six months," the Academy said.

Dylan at first was silent after the Nobel announcement but eventually said getting the award left him "speechless."

Dylan has accepted numerous awards over the years, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he picked up at a White House ceremony in 2012. A year later, he became the first rock star voted into the elite American Academy of Arts and Letters, which made him an honorary member.

In 2000, Dylan traveled to Stockholm to collect the Polar Music Prize from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf.

 - AP

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