After waiting nearly a week to acknowledge that he had won the Nobel prize in literature, the words “winner of the Nobel prize in literature” were added to Bob Dylan’s website. Those words, the Guardian notes, have now been removed.
That single clause was the only public recognition Dylan offered the Nobel academy, which had made multiple (unsuccessful) attempts to contact him through associates before announcing the award last week. From the Guardian:
Whether the latest twist in the Dylan-Nobel saga is the result of an administrative foul-up or a deliberate choice is unknown – stars’ websites are usually run with extremely limited input from their notional owners, and it’s entirely possible Dylan never knew either that his site had made reference to the prize or removed it. Though it is, of course, less likely that his manager, Jeff Rosen, would be unaware.
Some fans have suggested Dylan should refuse the title of Nobel laureate – though the Nobel committee does not acknowledge refusals, and continues to list its winners whether or not they want the prize – because the Nobel prize’s founder, Alfred Nobel, was an armaments manufacturer.
An equally likely explanation is that Dylan, who has always had a certain puckish quality, is intentionally antagonizing the media and his fans. Asked at a press conference in 1965 whether he considered himself primarily a singer or a poet, he replied, “Oh, I think of myself more as a song and dance man, y’know.”