Nobel academy member calls Bob Dylan's silence 'arrogant'

Here's one group you don't usually hear associated with celebrity feuds: the people who hand out Nobel prizes.

But one member of the Swedish academy is calling out Bob Dylan over his failure to respond since its Oct. 13 announcement bestowing the Nobel Prize for literature to the 75-year-old singer. He is the first musician to win the literature award in the academy's 115-year history.

Dylan has not discussed the honor publicly nor indicated whether he intends to attend the Dec. 10 ceremony in Stockholm. And as of Friday, all mentions the Nobel Prize had been scrubbed from his official website.

Per Wastberg said Dylan’s lack of reaction to the honor the academy bestowed on him last week was predictable, but disrespectful nonetheless.

“One can say that it is impolite and arrogant. He is who he is,” Wastberg was quoted as saying in Saturday’s edition of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

He went on to say that Academy members have agreed to stop trying to contact him, saying the ball is now in Dylan's court.

Only two people have declined a Nobel Prize in literature. Boris Pasternak did so under pressure from Soviet authorities in 1958 and Jean-Paul Sartre, who declined all official honors, turned it down in 1964.

Literature laureates have skipped the ceremony before. In 2004, Austrian playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek stayed home, citing a social phobia.

Harold Pinter and Alice Munro missed the ceremony for health reasons in 2005 and 2013, respectively.

Dylan's attitude may be explained by lyrics from his 1981 song The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar: “Try to be pure at heart, they arrest you for robbery. Mistake your shyness for aloofness, your silence for snobbery.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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