Bob Dylan Skips Nobel Award Ceremony

January 15, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. commitment / kəˈmɪt mənt / (n.) – the obligation to do or perform something
Example: The actor failed to attend the premiere because of his prior commitments.

2. in person / ɪn ˈpɜr sən / (idiom) – be in one's own bodily presence
Example: The singer requested to get the award in person.

3. honor / ˈɒn ər / (v.) – to regard with high respect
Example: The president honored the late poet by naming a street after him.

4. bestow / bɪˈstoʊ / (v.) – to present or give
Example: The medal was bestowed upon the champion.

5. convey / kənˈveɪ / (v.) – to make something known
Example: He conveyed his joy about the award through a letter.


Read the text below.
American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan announced that he could not attend the 2016 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony to personally receive his prize.

Dylan was chosen by the Swedish Academy to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. However, weeks after being announced as the winner, the 75-year-old musician sent a letter of regret to the Academy. In the letter, the awardee explained that he could not attend the ceremony in Stockholm due to prior commitments. He emphasized that he felt honored by the award and wished to receive it in person if possible.

In response, the Academy said that they respect Dylan’s decision, adding that although it is unusual, it is not the first time for an awardee not to claim the Nobel Prize personally. In the past, awardees failed to attend the ceremony due to other reasons like health problems.

Nobel Prize winners are honored every year on December 10, the death anniversary of award founder Alfred Nobel. Nobel was a Swedish industrialist, inventor, and philanthropist. Nobel dictated in his last will and testament that the wealth he would leave should be used to bestow prizes to persons who will greatly contribute in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, and Peace.

Very few musicians have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. According to the Academy, Dylan was selected for the literary prize for his original poetic songs.

Some critics expressed their disapproval of Dylan’s win, but many great American poets have also conveyed their support for the Academy’s decision. Some of Dylan’s supporters praised the lyricist for his influential songs that touches on social and political issues.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What is your opinion of Bob Dylan’s decision to not attend the Nobel ceremony?
·         What do you think are acceptable reasons for not accepting an award in person?

Discussion B

·         Aside from the categories awarded by the Nobel, what do you think are other industries that need to be recognized? Discuss.
·         Given the chance, what kind of award or recognition would you like to win? Why?

January 15, 2017