American music icon and voice of the 1960s counter-culture, Bob Dylan, took home the Nobel Prize for Literature, the world learned this morning
The selection committee declared Dylan the recipient for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
Not everyone was so confident Dylan would prevail. The New Republic Magazine released an article Oct. 6, with the headline: “Who Will Win the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature? Not Bob Dylan, that’s for sure.”
The New Republic’s Alex Shephard authored the piece, which discussed potential recipients of the Nobel Prize on Literature. In his piece, Shephard analyzed the 2016 “candidates” for the prize, although the committee does not release the list of nominees.
Shephard arrived at his analysis using odds and betting trends from the British betting site Ladbrokes. He explained that because no list of nominees is available, anyone looking to predict the winner must turn to betting markets and bookies.
Not only did Shephard put Dylan in the category of, “Sorry but these Americans are not going to win,” but he expounded on that decision, stating that, “Bob Dylan 100 percent is not going to win.”
Following the news that Dylan did in fact win, Shephard and his editor, Ryu Spaeth released a mea-culpa of sorts, under the headline: “Bob Dylan Won The Noble Prize In Literature?! A Conversation.” In their conversation, Shephard reminded readers that a year ago, he wrote; “If Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize I will eat my copy of ‘Blood on the Tracks.’”
“I am the Bill Kristol of Nobel Prize predictors,” Shephard conceded. In an incredible act of selflessness and defense of his writer, Speath jumped on the grenade for Shephard, revealing the fact that it was he who added “Not Bob Dylan, that’s for sure,” into Shephard’s headline.
The Nobel Prizes were established following the death of Swedish chemist and philanthropist Alfred Nobel, who made much of his fortune from his invention of dynamite. Nobel died in 1896 and his will stated that his fortune be used to fund individuals or organizations that provide the “greatest benefit on mankind.”
The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually in the fields of physics, medicine, literature, chemistry and peace. The economic prize is not technically a Noble Prize, and it wasn’t established until 1968. The list of nominees is kept as a closely guarded secret for fifty years in order to prevent lobbying by outside parties.
In Shephard’s defense, Dylan is sort of a surprise pick, not only because an American hasn’t won the award since 1993, but because Dylan doesn’t fit the traditional role as a famous writer or novelist.
The DCNF reached out to Shephard, who referred us to his latest, released today.
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