The Missing Nobel Laureate

francis-h-c-crick-nobel-prize-medal-1This is Nobel Week, featuring press conferences with the winners, the official Nobel Lectures, and the awarding of the prizes at a banquet on Saturday night.

Many of the events will be streamed live on the Nobel page, but not the Lecture in Literature. The Nobel site states, “As Literature Laureate Bob Dylan will not be present during Nobel Week, the Nobel Lecture in Literature will not be held.”

He has, however, sent a thank you speech to be read at the Nobel banquet on Saturday, which begins at 4:30 pm Stockholm time (10:30 am, Eastern). It will be streamed live on the site.

In addition, Patti Smith will perform Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” during the banquet. RollingStone reports that Smith is “also taking part in the Nobel Week Dialogue event the day before on December 9th, where she’ll discuss the ‘importance of role models.'” They further report that not even the Nobel organizers know who will read Dylan’s “speech of thanks” at the gala.

Smith tells the magazine that Nobel organizers asked her to sing in September, before Dylan was named the Literature Laureate, “I had planned to perform one of my own songs with the orchestra … But after Bob Dylan was announced as the winner and he accepted it, It seemed appropriate to set my own song aside and choose one of his. I chose ‘A Hard Rain’ because it is one of his most beautiful songs. It combines his Rimbaudian mastery of language with a deep understanding of the causes of suffering and ultimately human resilience.”

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