The Nobel Committee delighted untold numbers of Americans today when they announced this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature had been awarded to an American writer that Americans have actually heard of. Recent winners—Svetlana Alexievich, J. M. G. Le Clézio, and Tomas Tranströmer—stymied many U.S. citizens with hard-to-pronounce names, challenging prose styles, and works in translation. Americans were granted a reprieve in 2013 when the prize went to the Anglophone, Canadian writer Alice Munro, but were once again befuddled the following year by winner Patrick Modiano, a French writer absolutely nobody had ever heard of.
The committee—whose insistence on overlooking American writers was starting to raise suspicion—redeemed itself by choosing Bob Dylan, a prizewinner who’s not only American, but one of the most commercially successful recording artists of the last 50 years, as well as the recipient of every laurel available to those in the music industry. In one fell swoop, the committee obviated the need for the typical measures the small number of Americans interested in appreciating Nobel winners have had to take in previous years, such as visiting a book store or reading a book. Baby Boomer-Americans were especially pleased by the decision, which confirmed the supremacy of their generation’s tastes once and for all.