Academy to Bob Dylan: Deliver Nobel lecture or lose money
The lecture, which Bob Dylan can give in any form including a short speech, a performance, a video broadcast or even a song, must be held within six months of December 10, the date of the Nobel prize ceremony.
The Swedish Academy has warned that Nobel literature laureate Bob Dylan has until June 10 to deliver the traditional Nobel lecture, in order to receive the eight million kronor ($910,000) that comes with the prize.
The lecture, which can take nearly any form including a short speech, a performance, a video broadcast or even a song, must be held within six months of December 10, the date of the Nobel prize ceremony and the anniversary of the death of the prize’s founder Alfred Nobel.
“No phone conversation has taken place with Bob Dylan in recent months. Dylan is nevertheless aware that a Nobel lecture must be held on June 10 at the latest in order for a payment to be made,” Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Literature Prize, said in a blog post yesterday.
“What he decides to do is his own business.”
Dylan is scheduled to perform concerts in Stockholm on April 1 and 2 and in the southern city of Lund on April 9. Speculation has mounted that he may give his lecture during his visit to Sweden, though the academy says it has not heard from the singer.
Danius said Dylan’s plans to perform in Stockholm were made long before he was awarded the Nobel prize last October.
Dylan will remain the 2016 literature laureate regardless of whether he holds his lecture.
“As far as the Swedish Academy is concerned, it’s clear in any event that the 2016 Nobel laureate in literature is Bob Dylan and no one else,” Danius said.
Dylan, the first songwriter to receive the Nobel Literature Prize, declined to attend the December ceremony in Stockholm. He provided no explanation, and instead sent a thank you speech that was read aloud.
Other previous winners of the literature prize have also skipped the Nobel ceremony for various reasons.
Doris Lessing, who won in 2007, did not attend because of her advanced age; Harold Pinter (2005) because he was hospitalised; and Elfriede Jelinek (2004) refused to attend because of social phobia.
But each of these winners delivered their lectures, which were either sent to Stockholm or read aloud abroad.