Well, it's impolite and arrogant to say that too, isn't it?
Academy member Per Wastberg told Swedish television: "He is who he is," adding that there was little surprise Dylan had ignored the news. "We were aware that he can be difficult and that he does not like appearances when he stands alone on the stage"...And here's the very cool video of Doris Lessing climbing out of a cab and getting confronted with the news that she just won the Prize:
Mr Wastberg called the snub "unprecedented", but... Jean-Paul Sartre in 1964 [rejected the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964].
I especially love the artichokes.
And why did Sartre refuse the Nobel Prize? Here's his explanation, translated and published in The New York Review of Books in 1964:
[M]y refusal is not an impulsive gesture, I have always declined official honors...That is the "personal" reason for refusing. There are also what he calls the "objective" reasons:
This attitude is based on my conception of the writer’s enterprise. A writer who adopts political, social, or literary positions must act only with the means that are his own—that is, the written word. All the honors he may receive expose his readers to a pressure I do not consider desirable. If I sign myself Jean-Paul Sartre it is not the same thing as if I sign myself Jean-Paul Sartre, Nobel Prizewinner....
The writer must therefore refuse to let himself be transformed into an institution....
The only battle possible today on the cultural front is the battle for the peaceful coexistence of the two cultures, that of the East and that of the West.... I myself am deeply affected by the contradiction between the two cultures: I am made up of such contradictions. My sympathies undeniably go to socialism and to what is called the Eastern bloc, but I was born and brought up in a bourgeois family and a bourgeois culture. This permits me to collaborate with all those who seek to bring the two cultures closer together. I nonetheless hope, of course, that “the best man wins.” That is, socialism.I love the illustration, by the great NYRB caricaturist, David Levine.
This is why I cannot accept an honor awarded by cultural authorities, those of the West any more than those of the East, even if I am sympathetic to their existence....
And suddenly, I want to link to this article that I just saw on the front-page of the NYT website: "Campaign Aims to Help Pepe the Frog Shed Its Image as Hate Symbol."
ADDED: Making a Doris Lessing tag and applying it retroactively, I discover that I commented on that Doris Lessing video clip back in 2007 in a post called "Why did Doris Lessing say 'Oh, Christ' on hearing that she won the Nobel Prize?" At the time I said:
I think she was annoyed that this was going to be the video clip that everyone would watch forever. She'll always have her hair like that, her face like that — however she happened to end up after she'd been dragging herself around town all morning. And now she has to say something, and it better be good, because everyone will quote it. Oh, Christ, I have to go through this whole thing right now.
And it worked out for her. Everyone thinks "Oh, Christ" means so much. It's profound. But, really, it's not as if she could have squealed like an actress winning the Oscar. You don't think she was thrilled, inside?
Or maybe she was kind of pissed, and said "Oh, Christ" in the sense of: So, now, finally they get around to me... after all those second-rate hacks who got the prize all those years when I was ready with my hair done and my makeup on and a nice quote ready to go.