Dylan may not be happy about winning the Nobel Prize in Literature (source: MetroLyrics)
When you become the first songwriter to ever win a Nobel Prize in Literature, you think you’d love flaunting it.
Not the case with Bob Dylan, who won the award “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” according to The Nobel Prize. It’s clear he has had an impact on many different genres, especially country.
This could be Dylan being Dylan, or he may have something against the Nobel Prize as a whole. Whatever the case, he seems to have no interest in parading this award — he hasn’t been returning any of the Nobel Prize’s phone calls, and he hasn’t mentioned the award in any of his recent concerts.
On October 20, his website finally acknowledged the award in a post about his forthcoming collection of lyrics, “The Lyrics: 1961-2012.”
But now, that mention is nowhere to be found, reports SPIN.
Here’s what his website read on October 20:
And now here’s what his website reads (see the missing tagline!):
So should this surprise us? No, not necessarily.
Dylan is not known for showing off his awards or getting carried away with fame and the superficiality of fandom.
He even snubbed President Barack Obama once.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, President Obama talked about Dylan. Rolling Stone asked him, “You had Bob Dylan here. How did that go?” This is how the president responded:
“Here’s what I love about Dylan: He was exactly as you’d expect he would be. He wouldn’t come to the rehearsal; usually, all these guys are practicing before the set in the evening. He didn’t want to take a picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn’t show up to that. He came in and played “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” A beautiful rendition. The guy is so steeped in this stuff that he can just come up with some new arrangement, and the song sounds completely different. Finishes the song, steps off the stage — I’m sitting right in the front row — comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin, and then leaves. And that was it — then he left. That was our only interaction with him. And I thought: That’s how you want Bob Dylan, right? You don’t want him to be all cheesin’ and grinnin’ with you. You want him to be a little skeptical about the whole enterprise. So that was a real treat.”
“And I thought: That’s how you want Bob Dylan, right? You don’t want him to be all cheesin’ and grinnin’ with you. You want him to be a little skeptical about the whole enterprise. So that was a real treat.”
Dylan (source: Rolling Stone)
Another example of Dylan not soaking up the limelight was a press conference he gave back in 1965. Here is a bit of the transcript where Dylan says he’s not really a poet. He’s more of a “song and dance man.” Notice how he’s somewhat short with the interviewer.
I’d like to know the meaning of the cover photo on your album, Highway 61 Revisited?
What would you like to know about it?
It seems to have some philosophy in it. I’d like to know what it represents to you – you’re a part of it . . .
I haven’t really looked at it that much.
I’ve thought about it a great deal.
It was just taken one day when I was sittin’ on the steps y’know – I don’t really remember too much about it.
I thought the motorcycle was an image in your songwriting. You seem to like that.
Oh, we all like motorcycles to some degree.
Do you think of yourself primarily as a singer or a poet?
Oh, I think of myself more as a song and dance man, y’know.
Oh, I don’t think we have enough time to really go into that.