Bob Dylan says he not only wants to attend the Nobel Prize ceremony in December, but he also hopes to return to China.
In an interview with Edna Gunderson for British newspaper The Telegraph, posted on Saturday, the US singer-songwriter was quoted as saying he "absolutely" wants to attend the ceremony, "if it's at all possible".
The Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius, said Dylan called her on Tuesday and said "of course" he would accept. They talked for about 15 minutes and Dylan said the news about the Nobel Prize left him speechless, according to a statement posted on the academy's website.
That same evening, Barry Dickins, Dylan's longtime agent outside North America, told China Daily that the musician would like to return to China someday.
"The Nobel Prize is a great honor. He kept silent after the announcement only because he is a quiet, private person. He doesn't want to court publicity," Dickins, who has worked with Dylan for more than 25 years, said in a telephone interview.
The 75-year-old musician toured China in April 2011, performing in Beijing and Shanghai. Most of those in the audience were people in Chinese music circles and those who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s listening to American rock and folk music.
"Dylan was very interested in going to China. He is the kind person who likes to play in different places, share music with different people. We also played in Vietnam. We had a very nice time in China," Dickins said.
"Touring China is unusual," he said. "When you bring a culture that is alien to a country, it's always a bit of a challenge. If you listen to Chinese music, it's very unlike Western music."
They went to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Dylan also bought some Chinese art.
Wei Ming, then-general manager of Gehua Live Nation, which promoted Dylan's China tour, told China Daily that it was a "really a big challenge to make it happen. We overcame lots of difficulties. But we finally made it. It's the most unforgettable and influential project we've done. All the colleagues are proud of it."