Bob Dylan!Yes, you read that correctly. Some people believe that Dylan might be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for his lyrics, poetry, and memoirs, a body of work that holds up next to just about any other American artist.
But he won’t win.
Let’s back up: British gambling company Ladbrokes has betting odds for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and yesterday a run by “clued-up literary fans” sent Dylan’s odds from 100/1 to 10/1, according to The Guardian.
He’s now at 5/1, which puts him first, leapfrogging the Syrian poet Adonis.
Surprising? Sort of. Dylan’s been discussed as a possible winner for years, though this is the first time his odds have gotten so good.
That being said, few experts give him any legitimate chance at winning—the New Yorker calls him “a kind of cultural Zelig, his name or face appearing in any number of unlikely places.”
Meanwhile, the only Americans with any real chance seem to be Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon, and Cormac McCarthy. Roth and Pynchon are both at 20/1 odds, and McCarthy is 25/1. Roth in particular seems to have the best shot, with serious support from within America, though who knows if anyone outside the country feels the same.
Just to clarify: these odds don’t really mean anything (McCarthy had 3/1 odds last year). The winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature usually turns out to be a huge surprise, and the last American to win was Toni Morrison in 1993.
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