The Nobel Committee just announced that the 2016 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature is Bob Dylan.
To be honest I'm still wrapping my head around the news. I know that he has been mooted as a potential awardee for years, but most people have dismissed it as unlikely and even unwarranted, or that he would receive the Nobel Peace Prize rather than the literature award. Yet now it has happened. Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate.
I think this is definitely going to be a topic of discussion for a long while. Count me among those who think he is deserving of the award, but it definitely is a path-breaking decision. As far as I know, they have never given it to a person whose best-known writing is song lyrics. That certainly opens up the pool of future potential awardees.
As deserving as it is, though, I also can't help but feel a little bad for the other Americans who have been mentioned as potential laureates. I read recently that every year Philip Roth trudges to his agent's office and waits by the phone in anticipation of the announcement; if that is rue, then I can only wonder at his reaction to the news. Because Dylan's award means that it will be probably be awhile before another American wins it, as it's been twenty-three years since they last gave it to one. At least now Roth can sleep in on the announcement day, though he may have difficulty doing so since it's unlikely now that he will ever become a Nobel Laureate. Or maybe he's secretly working on a cure to the common cold, because at this point if he still wants one his best bet is to chase after one of the science prizes.