After ignoring the Swedish Academy’s calls and emails for a week, Bob Dylan has finally, indirectly, acknowledged his Nobel Prize in literature.
Although the famously elusive musician still hasn’t said anything about receiving the award, eagle-eyed fans can spot an all-caps mention of the honor on Dylan’s official website, Spin reported.
On the webpage for “The Lyrics: 1961-2012,” it’s shouted atop a description of his book of collected works that Dylan is the “Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.”
However, word’s still out on whether he’ll attend the Stockholm ceremony later this December.
Announcing this year’s literature prize, the Nobel committee said Dylan received the award “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
Not everyone agreed.
Matthew Schnipper, managing editor of Pitchfork, said it was “somewhat shocking—even disappointing” that Dylan won.
“His work, certainly, is monumental,” Schnipper wrote. “But he is a musician, and his relationship with words is as a lyricist, someone whose prose exists inexorably with music. To read his lyrics flatly, without the sound delivering them, is to experience his art reduced,” he added.
By any measure, Bob Dylan is one of the most important and influential popular songwriters of his era. Now he’s also a Nobel laureate in literature, a choice that came as a surprise. Jeffrey Brown talks to singer/songwriter James Taylor and others about the way Dylan’s writing helped so many navigate a changing world.
Stephen Metcalf of Slate also pushed the Dylan-is-a-musician-not-a-poet line.
“The objection here hinges in the definition of the word literature,” he wrote. “You wouldn’t give the literary prize to an economist or a political saint. You shouldn’t give it to Bob Dylan.”
The 75-year-old folk icon is the first American to win the Nobel Prize in literature since author Toni Morrison in 1993.
To date, Dylan has kept mum on his historic honor, despite performing since the announcement.
Will he ever speak up? The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.