When Bob Dylan finally called back after a member of the Swedish Academy accused him of being “impolite and arrogant” for his lack of response to the announcement that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, he told the Permanent Secretary of the Academy that the news about the Nobel Prize had left him “speechless.”
Was he being appreciative, or just sarcastic?
Let’s not forget Bob Dylan is a writer and an artist. Surely he has a way with words, and ‘speechless’ is one of those words in the English language which you can interpret either way.
I’m inclined to think that he was simply sarcastic. Look at the other words he used in ‘thanking’ the Academy: “incredible”, “amazing”, … He said he would attend the award ceremony “if it’s at all possible.”
But that’s the Bob Dylan that I revere. He is a true artist, and artists have character. True artists don’t strive for worldly honours; in fact, chances are they scorn them. The selection committee members at the Swedish Academy might be wondering why someone would snub the prestige and honour brought about by a Nobel Prize (and hence feel hurt), but they have forgotten that Bob Dylan is an artist.
Yes, Bob Dylan is my hero, back then in my teenage years when he lifted and expanded my horizon with ‘Blowing in the Wind’ , ‘The times they are a-changin’, …, and today when he said to the Secretary of the Swedish Academy that the news about the Nobel Prize had left him ‘speechless.’