Leonard Cohen provided a nice positive critique of Bob Dylan’s Nobel prize win according to The Australian, joining the chorus that couldn’t help by praise a man who has spent most of his career being praised and honored at some point. He noted that the Nobel win was like “pinning a medal on Mount Everest for being the highest mountain.” There’s something in there about how every award is basically meaningless, but it does perfectly sum up the positive camp for Dylan walking away with the award and not really caring about it.
The negative camp seems to be in the Nobel camp itself, with some academy members sitting around upset that Dylan is ignoring them and their award. According to The Guardian, Dylan is putting them in an unprecedented spot by giving them a cold shoulder over their award while still performing:
“It’s impolite and arrogant,” said the academy member, Swedish writer Per Wastberg, in comments aired on SVT public television.
On the evening of 13 October, the day the literature prize winner was announced, Dylan played a concert in Las Vegas during which he made no comment at all to his fans.
He ended the concert with a version of the Frank Sinatra hit “Why Try To Change Me Now?”, taken to be a nod towards his longstanding aversion to the media.