American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature last month, has decided not to attend the award ceremony in Stockholm, it has been announced.
The notoriously media-shy Dylan said three weeks ago he would accept the 8 million Swedish crown (NZD$1.3m) prize, after repeated attempts by the award-giving academy to contact him since it named him as the winner on 13 October.
The Swedish Academy said on its website that it had received a letter from Dylan explaining that due to "pre-existing commitments" he was unable to travel to Stockholm in December.
"We look forward to Bob Dylan's Nobel Lecture, which he must give - it is the only requirement - within six months counting from December 10," it said in a statement, adding that it would provide additional information on Friday 18 November.
The lecture need not be delivered in Stockholm. When British novelist Doris Lessing was awarded the Nobel literature prize in 2007, she composed a lecture and sent it to her Swedish publisher, who read it out at a ceremony in the Swedish capital.
Other Nobel Prize winners who have not attended the prize ceremony include Britain's Harold Pinter and Elfriede Jelinek of Austria.
Dylan's win was a major talking point when it was announced last month, as was his apparent silence on the matter.
Some interpreted this as a sign he was ambivalent about the award, though the Academy later said he appreciated it "so much".
The veteran rock star was awarded the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".
The Nobel Prize award ceremony and banquet will be held in Stockholm on 10 December, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.
- Reuters / BBC