So once again Bob Dylan didn't receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Oh, sure, he can take solace from the fact that a few other literary artists didn't get it, folks like Tolstoy, Ibsen, Proust, Joyce, Zola, Twain, Chekhov, Auden, and Borges, among others. But I don't think Bob should give up. He has until next February 1st when the nominations close and until early next October when the Prize is announced. He should begin preparing now.
To nudge Bob along, I have come up with a few suggestions for what he can do to improve his chances. I urge readers to supplement these ideas with others. Bob, it's time to get to work. Here's what you can do:
1. Make fun of mathematicians. There is no Nobel Prize in Mathematics. The standard rumor about this is that Nobel didn't want such a prize because it might go to a Swedish mathematician named Mittag-Leffler who supposedly had an affair with Nobel's wife. This is a good rumor, but it's considerably weakened by the small fact that Mr. Nobel never married. Never mind. The reason doesn't matter. Just start making fun of people who use numbers instead of words.
2. Buy a house near the Swedish Academy. These people decide who wins the Literature Prize, Bob. Get to know them. Start a never-ending tour just of Sweden. Start casually inserting the Swedish words "ombudsman' and "smorgasbord" frequently in conversation. Drop hints about how you love Swedish meatballs.
3. Write an album of songs that will help your cause. Include titles like "The Gates of Sweden." Avoid titles like "Stuck Inside of Stockholm With the Memphis Blues Again."
4. Rediscover your Hibbing roots. Note how its climate always reminded you of a Scandanavian country, but in a nice way. I mean the football team for the state is named the Minnesota Vikings. Come on, Bob, the Vikings. It's perfect. Get a helmet. Wear it at concerts. See #3 above about songs.
5. Use your connections. Shmooze with Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden. He is the King, after all. And he did present you a music prize in 2000. I know you didn't speak when you got the award, but the times they are a-changin' Bob. You've got to talk yourself up now.
So, Bob, there you go. Your fans are rooting for you. Don't think twice. It's all right.