Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize for Literature acceptance speech has just been released by publisher Simon and Schuster in hardcover book form. The speech, delivered this April at a private event in Stockholm, discusses the Minnesota-born troubadour’s influences, referencing literary touchstones like Moby Dick, All Along the Western Front and The Odyssey but also musical luminaries such as Buddy Holly.
For a mere $2,500 (about £1880) fans can acquire one of just 100 limited, numbered and signed copies of the speech. It should be noted that a less fancy, unsigned standard edition is also available for a little under $20. Details are here.
Though he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature last year, the ever-touring rocker missed the ceremony, adorably, citing ‘previous commitments’. This didn’t go down too well with the Swedish academy, who complained bitterly at the time of how they were constantly ignored by the performer and his management. Academy member Per Wastberg in particular derided the septuagenarian singer as ‘ignorant and impolite’.
As it turned out, Patti Smith stood in for Dylan at the December 10 gala, performing his 1962 classic ‘A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall’ with orchestral accompaniment. Overwhelmed by the gravitas of the moment, at one stage Smith fluffed the lyrics and was forced to apologise, though the eminent worthies present gave her a warm-hearted round of applause.
Dylan certainly won’t be short of a few bob after his new publishing venture – his die-hard fans can be relied upon to snap up the limited edition hardcover speech, especially with Christmas coming and increased media coverage assured by his new gospel-themed 9-disc box set dropping this Friday (Nov 3).
Not to mention the eight million kronor (£942,000) prize itself, only grudgingly handed over by the Nobel committee this year when Dylan deigned to show up.