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Bob Dylan Will Finally Get His Nobel Prize

Christopher Polk, Getty Images
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Bob Dylan is belatedly picking up his Nobel Prize. He’s set to meet with members of the Swedish Academy this weekend in what’s being described as a “small and intimate” setting where he will finally receive a diploma and medal.

So ends a strange saga of recognition, confusion and then outright avoidance.

Dylan was originally honored late last year with the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” according to the academy. He was utterly silent about the award, leading to speculation that he would refuse the Nobel. Two long weeks later, Dylan briefly discussed attending the Nobel Prize banquet and ceremony – which was held on Dec. 10 in Stockholm – but then ultimately declined. Someone else read his acceptance speech.

He’s now returning to the city for concerts to be held on Saturday and Sunday. “The Swedish Academy is very much looking forward to the weekend and will show up at one of the performances,” said Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the academy.

Still unknown is whether Dylan will ever give the traditional Nobel lecture, a requirement in order to receive the award’s $900,000 cash prize. (The Swedish Academy rules state that this lecture, which is to be “on a subject connected with the work for which the prize has been awarded,” is to be given “before, or no later than six months after, the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.”) Danius said “the academy has reason to believe that a taped version will be sent at a later point.”

As for this weekend, Danius explained that “no media will be present” when Dylan receives his Nobel. “Only Bob Dylan and members of the academy will attend,” she added, “all according to Dylan’s wishes.”

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