The songwriter enthused over his win in a Shakespeare-invoking speech.
After taking two weeks to acknowledge the award and declaring that he was too busy to attend the ceremony, Bob Dylan has remained largely unenthusiastic about his Nobel Prize win. However, in his acceptance speech at yesterday’s (December 10) ceremony, Dylan gushed over his victory, explaining that he was “truly beyond words,” while recalling when he first heard the news.
In the speech, which was read out by the US ambassador in Sweden, Azita Raji, Dylan wrote that the prize “is something I never could have imagined or seen coming.” He continued: “If someone had ever told me that I had the slightest chance of winning the Nobel Prize, I would have to think that I’d have about the same odds as standing on the moon.”
“I was out on the road when I received this surprising news, and it took me more than a few minutes to properly process it,” he recalled.
The iconic songwriter invoked Shakespeare who he reckoned thought of himself as a dramatist. “The thought that he was writing literature couldn’t have entered his head. His words were written for the stage,” mused Dylan. He later added: “Not once have I ever had the time to ask myself, “are my songs literature?,” before ending with: “So, I do thank the Swedish Academy, both for taking the time to consider that very question, and, ultimately, for providing such a wonderful answer.”
The ceremony was broadcast live on YouTube, with the award of Dylan’s prize at the 56 minute mark. Dylan had asked Patti Smith to attend the prestigious event in his place, with the legendary artist performing Dylan’s own song ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’.
Exactly where Dylan was during Saturday’s lavish banquet remains unknown, but he needs to materialise if he wants to receive his prize money of 8 million Swedish krona (about £690,000) – Nobel Laureates are required to deliver a lecture on their subject within six months of the ceremony.