Bob Dylan will not travel to Sweden to accept his historic Nobel Prize win.
The folk rocker became the first songwriter to be awarded the literature prize on October 13, when the Nobel panel experts praised him for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
As is tradition, all Nobel Prize winners are invited to accept their award in person at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, but officials at the Swedish Academy, the organization which picks the honorees, previously revealed they were struggling to get hold of Dylan.
They eventually tracked him down and asked if he would be attending the Dcember 10 prize giving. The folk-rock icon responded, “Absolutely, if it’s at all possible.”
However, the 75-year-old has now announced he will not be able to go to the ceremony.
Officials at the Swedish Academy have received a “personal letter” from Dylan, in which he states he is not able to attend “due to pre-existing commitments”. However, he is still required to give a Nobel lecture before June as part of the terms of his win.
The singer is not the only Nobel Prize recipient to not attend the ceremony – Harold Pinter and Doris Lessing also snubbed the prizegiving in 2005 and 2007, respectively.
“The prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan,” a statement from the Swedish Academy reads. “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, 2016.”
Dylan initially remained quiet about his achievement, but eventually opened up about the honor, telling The Telegraph, “Isn’t that something? It’s hard to believe… Whoever dreams about something like that?”0