Bob Dylan will not be attending the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Sweden to collect his award, the Swedish Academy has revealed.
Last month, it was announced that Dylan had been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.
It took two weeks for Dylan to accept a call from the permanent secretary of the academy, Sara Danius, when he said he was left “speechless” and would attend the ceremony “if at all possible”.
In a personal letter to the Swedish Academy, received on Tuesday (15th November), Dylan told them that he wished he could receive the prize personally, but could not due to “pre-existing commitments”.
The academy said that Dylan felt “very honoured indeed” by the prize.
The Swedish Academy said it is “unusual” for a Nobel laureate not to come and accept the award in person, but “not exceptional”, citing Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter and Elfriede Jelinek who did not attend the event in 2007, 2005 and 2004 respectively.
The academy added: “The prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan”.
As this year’s Nobel laureate, Dylan is required “to give a lecture on a subject connected with the work for which the prize has been awarded”, within six months of the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Stockholm in December.