It appears that Bob Dylan is trying to make up to the Swedish Academy for skipping the Nobel ceremony in Stockholm. Dylan has scheduled a series of concerts in Sweden for the Spring of 2017. It has been a strange dance between members of the Swedish Academy, which is responsible for choosing the Nobel Laureates in Literature and Dylan.
The Academy was proud to announce that the iconic musician and songwriter would be awarded the prestigious prize this year. The news was published in every media outlet imaginable and went viral on social media, yet Mr. Dylan never responded to the announcement.
Many started wondering, did he even want the price? While others bashed the Academy for not giving the honor to someone more deserving – like a writer, who published a successful book. A member of the Swedish Academy said Dylan was ungrateful and arrogant. After weeks of backlash, the “World Gone Wrong” singer issued a statement saying that he appreciated the gesture.
Then all eyes were on the Nobel Prize ceremony, which took place on December 10, would he show up to accept the prize? Would he give the required lecture to get the $870,000 prize? The answers were no and no.
Instead, he sent his good friend, singer-songwriter Patti Smith, who made headlines when she forgot the lyrics to the song she was set to perform. Smith accompanied by an orchestra attempted to sing Dylan’s 1963 classic “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” which has very complicated lyrics and when she fumbled on the second verse, she apologized and started over.
A beautiful speech written by Dylan was read by Azita Raji, the U.S. ambassador to Sweden. Raji stated:
“I’m sorry I can’t be with you in person, but please know that I am most definitely with you in spirit and honored to be receiving such a prestigious prize.”
Raji went on to say:
“Being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature is something I never could have imagined or seen coming. From an early age, I’ve been familiar with and reading and absorbing the works of those who were deemed worthy of such a distinction: Kipling, Shaw, Thomas Mann, Pearl Buck, Albert Camus, Hemingway. These giants of literature whose works are taught in the schoolroom, housed in libraries around the world and spoken of in reverent tones have always made a deep impression. That I now join the names on such a list is truly beyond words.”
To make it to many of his disappointed fans and angry critics, Dylan has announced that he and his band will be in Sweden in April for a few gigs.
Live Nation said the Nobel Prize winner will perform at the Waterfront in the Swedish capital on April 1st and 2nd. He will be in the city of Lund on April 9. He will also give a lecture so he can collect the $870,000 prize.