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Member of the Swedish Academy on Dylan: ”Rude and arrogant”


Per Wästberg, author and member of the Swedish Academy, critisizes Bob Dylan's refusal of acknowledging the Nobel Prize in Literature. – He seems to be a very grumpy and reluctant man, Wästberg said in an interview with SVT, the Swedish public service television.

Ever since the Swedish Academy announced Bob Dylan as this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize in literature 2016 over a week ago, there have been numerous attempts to contact the singer to formally notify him of the prestigious prize.

So far, however, the singer has made no personal comment – in spite of having performed in front of thousands of fans on the eve of the announcement of the prize in Las Vegas.

A couple of days ago the only sign so far of the singer finally acknowledging the prize appeared on a website of Dylan’s collected lyrics in the form of a statement, declaring that Bob Dylan is this year’s laureate, but on Friday morning the statement had mysteriously disappeared from the page.

The Swedish Academy announced on Tuesday that they no longer will dedicate neither more time nor further efforts to searching for the notoriously elusive singer and songwriter.

The academy also stated that they count on Bob Dylan’s appearance at the ceremony in Stockholm in December, regardless of the singer so far not having returned any of their phone calls.

”Rude and arrogant”

However on Friday one of the members of this prestigious Swedish literary institution, the author Per Wästberg, declared in an interview with ”Kulturnyheterna” – a cultural news programme, broadcast on the SVT, the Swedish public service television, that he found Bob Dylan’s behaviour of poor taste.

– I think it’s fair to say that his reaction so far has been rude and arrogant. He (Dylan) is who is, Wästberg said in the interview.

The Academy member also stated that he didn’t find it surprising that the statement on the Nobel Prize award website had disappeared from Dylan’s website.

– That was hardly surprising. He seems to be a very grumpy and reluctant man, and I didn’t find it surprising at all.

Acording to Per Wästberg, The Swedish Academy will continue to keep a low profile, and the author also stated that the ball is now entirely in Dylan’s court.

– We will sit back and wait. He will either show up, in which case he will be welcomed. Or else he won’t show up – and in that case we will arrange something else during the banquet. Either way – he is still a laureate.

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