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Nobel Prize team await Bob Dylan’s call ahead of Stockholm shows

By | Published on Wednesday 29 March 2017

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s latest tour rolls into Sweden this week, with two shows in Stockholm on Saturday and Sunday. The perfect opportunity, you might think, to pick up the Nobel Prize money he is still due. Although the whole thing has possibly slipped his mind. Yeah, you thought this was over? It’s not over.

As previously reported, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize In Literature last year. But instead of jumping for joy and running around shouting, Bob said nothing for a while. Then he said that he was very happy about it, but that he couldn’t be bothered to actually go to Sweden to attend a party in his honour.

The Swedish Academy, which awards the prize and isn’t really used to this sort of behaviour, attempted to nudge Dylan along by regularly talking about the prize money. There’s prize money, see? Eight million Swedish kroner. That’s about £730,000. But you can only get your hands on it as a winner if you come and give a lecture in Stockholm.

Traditionally, the lecture is given before the awards party in December, but as Bob didn’t go to the party, there was no lecture then. It’s OK though, the rules state that a winner has six months from 10 Dec to give their speech. Which gives him until 10 Jun to sort it out.

When he didn’t show up in December, the Academy was all like, “Oh, that’s fine. He’s got some tour dates in Stockholm in the spring, so that’ll be perfect”. Hence this has come up again now. The Academy even said that he could deliver his lecture in the form of a concert, if he wanted. So all he has to do is say that one of these two shows is his Nobel address and – woo! – double fee. An extra $900,000 in the bank for doing no extra work.

But even the extra work of saying he’s doing no extra work is apparently too much extra work for Bob. Or so notes Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, in a new blog post.

“The Swedish Academy looks forward to the weekend”, she writes. “These concert plans were laid long before the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature had been awarded”.

She continues: “The Swedish Academy confirms that no phone calls with Bob Dylan have taken place in recent months. Dylan is nevertheless aware that a Nobel lecture must be held by 10 Jun for a payout of the prize amount to be considered. That is what the Nobel Foundation statutes say. What he decides to do is his own business”.

She also notes that Dylan remains the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature whatever happens, whether he likes it or not.