Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize winner?


If the oddsmakers are right, Bob Dylan is about to be a Nobel Prize winner in literature.

The oddsmakers, of course, frequently aren’t right but the buzz surrounding the possibility eclipses his competition (Legal disclaimer under the Law of Minnesota Media: Bob Dylan grew up in Minnesota. End of disclaimer).

Ladbroke’s has installed Dylan now as a 5-to-1 favorite to win the Nobel Prize when the literature award is announced on Thursday. That’s a lot of money flowing into the Dylan corner; he was a 100-to-1 shot on Monday and a 10-to-1 nag on Tuesday.

Ladbrokes spokesman Alex Donahue talked with Morning Edition host Phil Picardi about the betting interest in Dylan earlier today:

He eclipsed Adonis, the Syrian poet, overnight. Adonis is actually Ali Ahmed Said. He lives in France and won the Goethe Prize recently, around the same time he published an open letter to Syrian President Bashar Assad urging him to end the repression against his countrymen. Generally, that’s just the type of person who wins Nobel prizes.

But a campaign for Dylan, which actually started early in 2010, has taken root., for example, says this is the kind of poetry deserving of a Nobel:

To win the prize would also go a long way toward settling a long-running debate: Is Bob Dylan a songwriter or a poet? Dylan was asked that very question at a press conference in 1965, when he said, “I think of myself more as a song-and-dance man.”

The debate has raged on ever since, and even intensified in 2004, when the Internet spread rumors that he’d win the prize, and several books explored the question.

“Anything I can sing, I call a song. Anything I can’t sing, I call a poem,” Dylan said in 1963.