29 Oct 2016

It is him, babe - Dylan 'speechless' over Nobel

1:15 pm on 29 October 2016

American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has agreed to accept the Nobel Prize in Literature, two weeks after he was awarded it by the Swedish Academy.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Photo: AFP

The notoriously media-shy Dylan had not made any comment on the 8 million Swedish crown ($1.3 million NZD) prize since he was named winner two weeks ago, despite repeated attempts by the academy to contact him.

The Nobel Foundation said that Dylan this week told the academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius, that he would accept the prize.

"The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless," Dylan said, according to a statement from the foundation.

"I appreciate the honour so much."

The 75-year-old American is the first singer-songwriter to be awarded the prize.

Announcing the award on 14 October, the Swedish Royal Academy said he had "created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

Dylan's 1960s folk and protest songs such as 'Blowin' in the Wind' and 'The Times They Are A-Changing' became anthems of the civil rights movement and Vietnam War protests.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan has been writing and performing since the 1960s. Photo: Xavier Badosa

The committee that gave the award had said it was up to him whether or not to attend the prize-giving ceremony later this year.

"It has not yet been decided if Bob Dylan will attend any events during the Nobel Week in Stockholm in December," the foundation said.

"The Nobel Foundation will share information as soon as it is available."

Separately, Dylan told the Telegraph newspaper that he would attend the Nobel Prize ceremony if he could.


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