The Nobel Prize 2016: The Fuck You Philip Roth Nobel

on Thursday, October 13, 2016
Ok, well those wacky pranksters at Team Nobel have well and truly punked us all. I was all ready to write how they made an arse out of me for getting the whole date thing wrong then they go and do this: BOB DYLAN! What the actual fuck? Now, I'm a Dylan fan as much as the next guy (I loved him in Pirates of the Caribbean) but, in a world of ever-diminishing giants, why would they give it to the grumpy old troubadour?

If I might put forward a wee theory:

Years ago, the chairman of the Nobel committee totally dissed Philip Roth and American literature in general, proclaiming that the Yanks were all but out of the running. There was, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, something of an outcry. What about McCarthy? Or DeLillo? Or Oates? Or Vollman? or... the list is almost endless. How then to shut up the whingers? Give it to the one guy who has always sat somewhere down the bottom of the betting table but who nobody ever thought stood a genuine chance. It goes to an American of the old guard who isn't Philip Roth. Yes, so far as I can tell, this year's Nobel Prize in Literature was the greatest instance of throwing shade at a single person ever in the history of the prize. It means they don't have to give it to an American for another five or six years, by which time they are counting on Roth having fallen off the perch. Batshit crazy genius!

No doubt there will be a fiery shitstorm in the literary blogosphere. Accusations will be thrown. Questions will be asked. I, of course, only have one question: Will Dylan face the audience when he collects the medal and mumbles his acceptance speech? Recent performances suggest not. At least old Phil won't have to look him in the eye.

Now I'm off to read some Krasznahorkai or Thiong'o. Because in my alternate reality they shared this year's prize. Hoorah!


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