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Bob Dylan to finally accept Nobel Prize

March 29, 2017

After a great deal of speculation about the elusive musician's required Nobel lecture, the Swedish Academy has announced that Bob Dylan has committed to picking up his Nobel Prize in Stockholm.

Bob Dylan singing
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/D. Castello

US rock legend Bob Dylan, who won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, will collect his diploma and medal this weekend, the Swedish Academy said Wednesday. 

Dylan is scheduled to perform in Stockholm on April 1-2, and the handover is to take place during that time. 

Fans and Nobel Prize jury members were rather surprised and likely miffed when Dylan snubbed the ceremony in December, citing "pre-existing commitments."

Nobel Prize guidelines state that a winner must present a lecture within six months of December 10, the date of the Nobel Prize ceremony, in order to receive the 839,000 euros ($870,000) in prize money. The lecture can take various forms, including a short speech, a performance, a video broadcast or a song - and must occur before June 10.

Until Wednesday, neither the Swedish Nobel jury nor Dylan had offered any hints of when - or whether - the lecture would take place. "There have been no telephone calls with Bob Dylan in the last few months," wrote Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, earlier this week in her blog.

Patti Smith at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm
Music legend Patti Smith sang a Dylan song at the December ceremony in StockholmImage: Getty Images/P. Le Segretain

Fans, however, had already correctly speculated that Dylan could put in a surprise Nobel appearance this weekend in Stockholm, where he was already scheduled to perform in Stockholm on April 1-2. On April 9, he will give a concert in the southern Swedish city of Lund. 

Baffling silence

The 75-year-old kept silent for weeks following the announcement in October that he had won the prestigious prize - the first songwriter to garner the award.

In a thank you speech he sent later and which was read aloud during the ceremony in Stockholm, he apologized for not being able to attend the event. He also said he was surprised to be placed in the league of authors such as Ernest Hemingway and Albert Camus.

"Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, 'Are my songs literature?'" he noted in his speech.

als/kbm (AFP, dpa)