There have been a whole lot of column inches wasted on Bob Dylan receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature. But, to paraphrase another great bard, William Shakespeare, it is a tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Of course, Dylan has his champions and his detractors. What great artist doesn’t? But he didn’t ask for this award. The Nobel people decided to give it to him.
Now some Swedish writer, Per Wastberg, a member of the Swedish Academy that chooses the annual winner, has called Dylan ‘impolite and arrogant’ for not acknowledging the award.
Not quite right, Per. A mention of the award did appear, very briefly, on Dylan’s website but was taken down, just as abruptly. I’d like to think that decision was Dylan’s and I really hope now he doesn’t accept the award or turn up at their award ceremony in December.
Dylan would not be the first artist to do so. One of the most famous refusals came from the French writer and revolutionary thinker, Jean Paul Sartre and he explained, very clearly, his reasons for doing so.