Bob Dylan appears in a film still for “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” (for which he also did the soundtrack) which was released in May 1973 and filmed in Durango, Mexico.(Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
Bob Dylan performs at the John F Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia during the first international live aid concert against hunger in Africa on July 13, 1985.(Micelotta Frank / AFP/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama, background, presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Bob Dylan on May 29, 2012.(Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images)
People look at books by Bob Dylan who was announced the laureate of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden, on Oct. 13, 2016.(Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP/Getty Images)
When news broke that Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, thousands of enthusiasts lined up to pay kudos and to thank the Swedish Academy for acknowledging his genius.
So far, Dylan himself isn’t one of them.
Nearly a week after the announcement, the artist, who just finished two consecutive weekends performing as part of the Desert Trip music festival, has yet to acknowledge the honor, Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy that awards the prize, is reported as saying.
In fact, the mercurial artist hasn’t even indicated whether he will attend the award ceremony, although, according to Danius, no one has talked directly to Dylan. Rather, an unnamed Dylan affiliate acknowledged the award.
“I have called and emailed to this associate and received a very friendly response,” she said in a statement to Swedish Radio. “Right now, it is enough.”
That shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed the artist’s career. Reliably unpredictable, the artist has appeared in Victoria’s Secret commercials while skipping state dinners. He refuses to allow news photographers to shoot his concerts, and rarely, if ever, sits for interviews.
Onstage at Desert Trip the day after his award was announced, Dylan didn’t say anything about the newly minted honor — but he did play “Like a Rolling Stone” for the first time in a few years.
If Dylan never picks up the phone, he won’t be the first. The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre famously declined the honor in 1964.
There’s a lot of terrible music out there. For tips on the stuff that’s not, follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit