"Right now we are sitting quietly in the boat," the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary Sara Danius told Swedish national broadcaster SVT.
So far, the only official response from Bob Dylan's camp has been a four-day old tweet notifying that Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The American minstrel himself has so far responded with silence.
Bob Dylan was awarded the 2016 #NobelPrizeLiterature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”— bobdylan.com (@bobdylan) October 13, 2016
"I have a feeling that Bob Dylan can manage it. It's a feeling that may prove wrong, and it will be sad of course if he does not. The award is his anyway, and we cannot be held responsible for what is happening now. If he does not come, he probably did not want to. It will be a big party anyway," Danius said, as quoted by SVT.
The long history of the Nobel Prize features a number of voluntary refusals. Most notably, French existentialist writer and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre declined the 1964 prize in literature, stating that a writer must refuse "being transformed into an institution, even if it happens in the most honorable form." Another instance involves Vietnamese revolutionary and politician Le Duc Tho, who was awarded the 1973 Peace Prize jointly with Henry Kissinger for their role in the Paris Peace Accords, which put an end to the Vietnam War. Le Duc Tho declined, claiming there was no actual peace in Vietnam.
Jean-Paul #Sartre’s refusal of the #NobelPrize for literature (via @StuartElden) https://t.co/tcSKThYxH5— Simone Tulumello (@SimTulum) October 14, 2016
Dylan, whose lyrics have influenced generations of fans across the globe, is the first songwriter to win the Nobel Prize in literature for "having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." In 2008, Dylan was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer Prize jury for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power." In May 2012, Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. Dylan was also included in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, where he was called "master poet, caustic social critic and intrepid, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation."