My writing mentor, the late John Hersey, told me in 1979 that writers who chase prizes are completely missing the point. This wisdom after a short story I submitted to a college fiction contest was returned with a handwritten suggestion that I seek psychiatric help. I told Hersey I needed beer & weed money, but injured pride aside, can we discuss the very cool decision by the judges in Stockholm to give Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize in Literature?
Yes, he’s a poet who happens to strum a guitar and blow a harp, but I’m delighted the august judges of literature’s greatest award have broadened their horizons from their recent decades of filling in the map of the world by giving the prize to obscure scriveners from former Soviet republics (no first world patriarchal privilege implied but I don’t read Uzbek). Yes, I root for the home team in these things and haven’t been really pumped up by the news in a long time. I would have given it to Don DeLillo, and not since Orman Pahluk received it have I really felt it was as well deserved as Dylan’s