The Nobel panel can’t get ahold of Bob Dylan to give him his prize

Faced with the honor of a lifetime by being awarded the Nobel prize in literature last week, Bob Dylan appears to have gone totally MIA. The Nobel panel literally can’t get ahold of Dylan, as he has yet to respond to any communications by the Swedish panel or even indicate whether or not he’ll attend the ceremonies honoring Nobel prize awardees.

“Right now we are doing nothing. I have called and sent emails to his closest collaborator and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough,” Sara Danius, secretary of the Swedish Academy (which traditionally awards the Nobel prize in literature), told state radio SR on Monday. Artists can be so goddamn unpredictable.

Dylan has yet to even respond to having won the award after it was announced on Thursday last week, but regardless, Danius told The Guardian she is “not at all worried.”

“I think he will show up,” she said. I mean, hopefully he will, but can we really be so sure? His work and career have been defined by a sort of culturally rebellious edge, and accepting a prestigious, traditional award from so enormous and influential of an institution might not really be his thing.

Still, it’s not like Dylan has disappeared from the face of the Earth. He performed a concert in Las Vegas the same night it was announced he’d won the award, so it’s unlikely he dropped dead between then and now. So, he’s alive and well and it’s ultimately his choice as to whether or not to show up to the award show. As Danius put it, the world isn’t going to implode if he doesn’t show up. “If he doesn’t want to come, he won’t come,” she said. “It will be a big party in any case and the honour belongs to him.” Basically, whether or not he wants the award is irrelevant — it’s all his, regardless.

At 75 years old, Dylan is the first songwriter to win a Nobel literature award, which speaks to the power, depth, and story behind his lyrics. Other artists being considered for the award were Salman Rushdie, Syrian poet Adonis, and Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o, but the Nobel panel claims it offered the award to Dylan “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Not everyone was super into the panel’s decision, so maybe they’ll find comfort in the fact that Dylan might not even show up to be honored.