Culture

American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, June 11, 2009 in Culver City, California
Academy said Friday that it had not yet been decided yet if Dylan would visit Stockholm to pick up his award

Bob Dylan has finally accepted his Nobel prize for literature, the Swedish Academy that awards it said Friday, breaking his silence on the win that he said left him "speechless".

Asked "if I accept the prize? Of course", the US singer-songwriter said in a call to the academy this week, around a fortnight after he was named laureate on October 13.

"The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless," he told the academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius. "I appreciate the honor so much."

Dylan had not responded to repeated phone calls made by the academy following the prize announcement, nor had he made any public statement, prompting one academy member to call him "impolite and arrogant".

The only other acknowledgement of the award so far had been a mention on Dylan's website, which was removed within 24 hours.

The academy said Friday that it had not yet been decided yet if Dylan would visit Stockholm to pick up his award.

Every December 10, Nobel prize winners are invited to Stockholm to receive their awards from King Carl XVI Gustaf and to give a speech during a banquet.

In his first interview since the award announcement, Dylan was asked by Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper if he would turn up.

"Absolutely. If it's at all possible," he said.

Dylan told the paper that the award was "amazing, incredible", saying: "It's hard to believe."

He added: "Whoever dreams about something like that?"

Asked why he did not respond to the academy's calls, Dylan said: "Well, I'm right here."

The Daily Telegraph said that Dylan appeared "bemused" by all the fuss.

Dylan, whose lyrics have influenced generations of fans, is the first songwriter to win the literature prize.

Other contenders for this year's prize included Salman Rushdie, Adonis and Ngugi wa Thiong'o.

(Staff with AFP)

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