A prominent member of the academy that awards the Nobel literature prize has described this year’s laureate, Bob Dylan, as arrogant, citing his total silence since the award was announced last week.
The US singer-songwriter has not responded to repeated phone calls from the Swedish Academy, nor reacted in any way in public to the news.
“It’s impolite and arrogant,” said the academy member, Swedish writer Per Wastberg, in comments aired on SVT public television.
How is this arrogant? Bob Dylan is a very public person who likes to remain private. He puts himself onstage about a hundred times a year, but shuns interviews and public events. He never asked for this prize, and certainly doesn’t need it.
What if they had attributed the prize to J. D. Salinger, when he was alive, and Salinger ignored it? As an author who was famously reclusive, no one would have been surprised. I think people are mistaking Dylan’s public persona as a performer for the way he might be expected to act off stage.
No, the arrogant ones are the members of the Swedish Academy who expected Dylan to fawn after the prize was announced.