We're already gearing up for the year's big literary/gambling hybrid: The 2012 Nobel Prize in literature! Laureates are chosen and announced in early October, with the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony following in Stockholm on December 10. The Guardian's Allison Flood writes today that Bob Dylan's stock is up. In fact, he's our number two contender: "A flurry of £100 bets on Bob Dylan has seen the singer-songwriter leapfrog over the likes of Philip Roth and Cormac McCarthy to become the second favourite to win the Nobel prize for literature this autumn." Only Haruki Murakami is ranked above, at 7/1, according to Ladbrokes, your soup-to-nuts betting destination.
In all this excitement, however, it's worth remembering that last year Dylan was also heavily favored, oddswise if not practically speaking, to win (he did not), and that not even those at Ladbrokes think he's a serious contender this year any more than he was previously. People are betting on him, perhaps, because it's fun, because they recognize his name, because it's a bet on Bob Dylan. Note that this is all speculative anyway, as the statutes of the Nobel Foundation "restrict disclosure of information about the nominations, whether publicly or privately, for 50 years." Flood writes, though, that "Ladbrokes believes it is highly unlikely the singer will win the world's most prestigious prize for literature," and cites MA Orthofer, the founder of international literature website the Complete Review, as having blogged, "If you know anyone who has actually generously donated money to Ladbrokes by 'betting' on him please try to get them professional help, either from a psychiatrist or an accountant."