Bob Dylan has finally broken his silence on his Nobel Prize.
“It’s hard to believe,” he told The Telegraph's Edna Gundersen in a rare interview. Dylan, who became the first musician to win the Nobel Prize in Literature earlier this month, says when he was first told the news it was “amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?”
But until now Dylan has remained silent on the accolade, angering some of the Nobel Committee, who have called his lack of reply to the December awards ceremony “impolite and arrogant.”
Known for shying away from awards recognition, many wondered if Dylan would decline the prize all together.
Only two people have declined a Nobel Prize in literature. Boris Pasternak did so under pressure from Soviet authorities in 1958 and Jean-Paul Sartre, who declined all official honors, turned it down in 1964. Dylan is the first American to win the prize for literature since Toni Morrison in 1993.
On Friday the Nobel Foundation released a statement from Dylan confirming he would accept the prize. "The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless,” he told Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy. “I appreciate the honor so much.”
Dylan told The Telegraph he plans to attend the awards ceremony in Stockholm. “Absolutely,” he said. “If it’s at all possible.”
Literature laureates have skipped the ceremony before. In 2004, Austrian playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek stayed home, citing a social phobia. Harold Pinter and Alice Munro missed the ceremony for health reasons in 2005 and 2013, respectively.
Contributing: Jayme Deerwester, The Associated Press