- 31 Oct 16
If it is at all possible, that is! The bard has finally broken his silence on being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 2016.
Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his selection as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2016. And he has told a journalist that he will attend the ceremony – if he can.
“It’s hard to believe,” Dylan told Edna Gunderson, whose interview appeared in the Daily Telegraph, adding that when he first heard, he felt it was “amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?”
Overall, the interview is light on quotes: Dylan is famously taciturn, and this encounter is no different in that regard. But it is fascinating too, for what it does deliver.
Asked about the comparisons made by Sara Danius, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, between his songs and the work of Homer and Sappho, Dylan is cagey.
“I suppose so, in some way. Some songs – 'Blind Willie’, 'Ballad of Hollis Brown', ‘Joey', 'A Hard Rain’, ‘Hurricane' and some others – definitely are Homeric in value.”
It is interesting that it is in the political and protest songs that Dylan sees the link. In general, he is as cryptic about his lyrics as always. “I’ll let other people decide what they are,” he says. “The academics, they ought to know.”
The interview focuses largely on Dylan’s painting. There is a clear continuity between the different artistic disciplines. However, there are things which even Bob Dylan recognises that he is unlikely to master.
“I’d like to kick a field goal in an NFL football game,” he says. “...But you have to know your place.There might be some things that are beyond your talent."
Whatever about knowing your place, it seems the organisers of the Nobel Prize ceremony can at least look forward to the occasion with a bit more optimism, now that the great man has spoken.