Bob Dylan has finally broken a two week silence following his controversial Nobel Prize win, a decision that incurred a fair amount of criticism, even leading one member of the Swedish Academy to call his adamant silence, “impolite and arrogant.”
Now, for whatever reason, he has chosen to respond to the win, as only Bob Dylan can. In a recent interview with Sara Danius of the Swedish Academy, Dylan announced that he would “absolutely” attend the ceremony “if at all possible”. Whether that refers to a busy tour schedule or conflicting personal matters, no one can say.
Perhaps even more pressing than Dylan’s attendance to the ceremony is whether he thinks he deserves the award at all. He does not answer this question outright, but agrees with Danius’ assesment of his work as comparable to that of a Greek Bard, saying, “I suppose so, in some way. Some [of my own] songs –’Blind Willie’, ‘The Ballad of Hollis Brown’, ‘Joey’, ‘A Hard Rain’, ‘Hurricane’, and some others – definitely are Homeric in value.”
The response is classic Dylan: Somehow, equal parts modest and grandiose. Though of course he isn’t the only one who finds his work to be of enduring value. Leonard Cohen, in a recent interview, commented on Dylan’s win by saying it was like “pinning a medal on Mt Everest for being the tallest mountain.” He went on to share a funny anecdote wherein he and Dylan were in the car together, and Dylan asserted, “As far as I’m concerned, Leonard, you’reNumber 1. I’m Number Zero.’ Meaning, as I understood it at the time—and I was not ready to dispute it—that his work was beyond measure and my work was pretty good.”
Featured image courtesy of CNN