After months of uncertainty and controversy, Bob Dylan finally accepted the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature at a jovial, champagne-laced ceremony on Saturday, the Swedish Academy announced. The academy, which awards the coveted prize, ended prolonged speculation as to whether the 75-year-old troubadour would use a concert stopover in Stockholm to accept the gold medal and diploma awarded to him back in October.
They were handed to Bob Dylan at a “private ceremony in Stockholm” attended by 12 academy members, Sara Danius, the academy’s permanent secretary, said in a blog post. “Spirits were high. Champagne was had,” she confided.“Quite a bit of time was spent looking closely at the gold medal, in particular the beautifully crafted back, an image of a young man sitting under a laurel tree who listens to the Muse,” she added. “Taken from Virgil’s Aeneid, the inscription reads: ‘Inventas vitam iuvat excoluisse per artes,’ loosely translated as ‘And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery’.”
The first songwriter to receive the prestigious award, Dylan joins a celebrated group of laureates including Thomas Mann, Samuel Beckett, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Doris Lessing. The meeting took place at a secret location before Dylan’s first concert in Stockholm, the first stop on a long-planned European tour for his latest album of cover songs, Triplicate. His second concert is on due on Sunday.