A couple days after the Nobel Committee announced it was awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan—a decision that was undoubtedly controversial—the 75-year-old musician gave a concert in Indio, California during the Desert Trip festival. Dylan, however, “didn’t utter a word between the 17 songs in his 90-plus-minute set,” reported The Wall Street Journal. The day prior, in Las Vegas, he didn’t say a word about it either. Dylan, who is on a “never ending” tour, still has yet to acknowledge the Nobel Prize announcement, and the academy, it turns out, has given up on reaching him. There is no mention of it on his website, either.
“Right now we are doing nothing,” Sara Danius, the academy’s secretary, told Sveriges Radio, Sweden’s national public radio channel, on Monday. “I have called and sent e-mails to his closest collaborators and received very friendly replies. For now, that is certainly enough.
“If he doesn’t want to come, he won’t come. It will be a big party (on December 10) in any case, and the honor belongs to him.”
Of note is an upcoming release of a massive 36-disc box set (they are still making box sets!) from Dylan’s 1966 tour, from performances in the U.S., the UK, and elsewhere throughout Europe. This includes a double disc of his concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, given just before Dylan’s 25th birthday, during which he sang “Tell Me, Momma.”
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Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.