The biggest problem with the Nobel Prize in Literature (other than its shameful record of ignoring women and people of color) is that it annually insults many deserving writers by overlooking them.
I agreed with James’s sentiment and kept my expectations low this year. I decided I’d be content if the winner was primarily a writer of books, especially after Bob Dylan further irritated the purists by ignoring the announcement for two whole weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dylan’s music, but by declining to attend the prize ceremony in December, privately accepting the award in March, and stalling until days before the 6-month deadline to give his mandatory lecture (which he had to deliver in order to receive the prize’s 8 million Swedish krona), he further alienated the skeptics. Not to mention the content of his Nobel Prize lecture pondered the very question of his legitimacy in the category and stated that his lyrics were meant to be sung, not read.