The world's premier gambling event, the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature, happens on Thursday. Who's gonna win? Bob Dylan? (No.) Here are your betting odds!
Adonis (Syria): 4/1
Tomas Tranströmer (Sweden): 7/1
Haruki Murakami (Japan): 8/1
Bob Dylan (U.S.): 10/1
Assia Djebar (Algeria): 12/1
Peter Nadas (Hungary): 12/1
Ko Un (South Korea): 14/1
Les Murray (Australia): 16/1
Thomas Pynchon (U.S.): 20/1
Philip Roth (U.S.): 20/1
Nuruddin Farah (Somalia): 20/1
(If you've heard of many more than half of those people, you are more well-read than us.)
The New Yorker says Syrian poet Ali Ahmad Said Asar is the safe bet in part because "his selection could be seen as a nod of solidarity to the Arab Spring." Then there's Bob Dylan, who is definitely not going to win the Nobel Prize, but wouldn't it be such a smack in the face to all these serious novelists and poets if he did? It's like, you may as well give it to the writers of Arrested Development.
The 6 October announcement date — the earliest possible — suggest an 'easy' decision, i.e. agreement was presumably reached fairly easily (since there wasn't extended debate), which I would suggest means the choice is not a very controversial one — i.e. more likely, say, Amos Oz than Peter Handke.
So, go bet all of your money on Amos Oz, who has been given 25-1 odds by Ladbrokes. Slim odds, but last year's winner,
Portuguese Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa was just as much of a longshot and wasn't even included in Ladbrokes' top 10.
[Photo of Bob Dylan via Getty]