STOCKHOLM: Music icon Bob Dylan is to receive his Nobel prize this weekend at a meeting with the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, it was announced on Wednesday.
“The good news is that the Swedish Academy and Bob Dylan have decided to meet this weekend. The Academy will then hand over Dylan’s Nobel diploma and the Nobel medal, and congratulate him on the Nobel Prize in Literature,” Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Academy, wrote in a blog post.
Earlier in December 2016, the rock enigma had snubbed the Nobel ceremony because of “pre-existing commitments”, and has given no indication of whether he plans to deliver a traditional Nobel lecture by the June 10 deadline.
Dylan is set to perform in Stockholm on April 1-2 and in the southern city of Lund on April 9.
Speculation has mounted that he may hold his lecture during his visit to the Scandinavian country.
When the 75-year-old, who kept silent for weeks after he was announced as the Nobel literature laureate in October, was asked at the time why he did not respond to the Academy’s calls, he told the Daily Telegraph: “Well, I’m right here.”
The first songwriter to receive the prize later sent a thank-you speech that was read aloud during the ceremony in Stockholm, but he didn’t choose a person to accept the award in his place.
In an exceptionally humble speech, Dylan apologised for not being able to attend the event and expressed surprise over being chosen as a laureate in the league of authors like Ernest Hemingway and Albert Camus.
“Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, ‘Are my songs literature?’” his speech read.
“If someone had ever told me that I had the slightest chance of winning the Nobel Prize, I would have to think that I’d have about the same odds as standing on the moon,” his speech added.
According to Maria Schottenius, a literary critic and columnist at Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, Dylan’s silence and distance from the Nobel prize has hurt the Swedish Academy’s pride.
“It was surely a miscalculation even if the Swedish Academy doesn’t select award winners based on how well they perform in royal environments,” she told AFP.
But Dylan does care about the Nobel, Schottenius believes. It’s the glitziness of the ceremony, attended by Swedish royal family and politicians, that intimidated the rock star.
“[A] prize from the king’s hand, tailcoat, the world’s finest party with a long lavish televised dinner not his cup of tea,” she said.
Several other literature prize winners have skipped the Nobel ceremony in the past for various reasons. Nobel laureate Doris Lessing  did not attend because of her advanced age, Harold Pinter  because he was hospitalised and Elfriede Jelinek  due to her social phobia.
Each of these winners performed their lectures that were either delivered to Stockholm or read aloud abroad.
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