Bob Dylan won't show up in person to accept his Nobel Prize for Literature next month. The Swedish Academy, which oversees this annual honor, confirmed in a new statement that he will be absent when the ceremony is held on Dec. 10.

"Yesterday evening, the Swedish Academy received a personal letter from Bob Dylan, in which he explained that due to pre-existing commitments, he is unable to travel to Stockholm in December and therefore will not attend the Nobel Prize Ceremony," the academy said in the statement. "He underscored, once again, that he feels very honored indeed, wishing that he could receive the prize in person."

This statement ends a lengthy period of confusion about Dylan's response to one of writing's most prestigious awards.

He was announced as the recipient on Oct. 13, as the Swedish Academy praised Dylan for "creating new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." Dylan took more than two weeks to acknowledge the honor, however, leading one member of the academy to call him "impolite and arrogant." Dylan finally addressed the award in a talk with the Telegraph, calling the Nobel "amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?"

The Swedish Academy is now taking pains to explain that Dylan's absence from the ceremony "is unusual, to be sure, but not exceptional. In the recent past, several laureates have, for various reasons, been unable to come to Stockholm to receive the prize – among them Doris Lessing, Harold Pinter and Elfriede Jelinek. The prize still belongs to them, just as it belongs to Bob Dylan."

But the singer-songwriter must complete one requirement in order to receive the award: Dylan has six months, beginning on Dec. 10, to give a so-called Nobel Lecture. He has no officially announced concerts scheduled, according to his website, so he may be free.

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