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Let me begin by saying that I love Bob Dylan. I’m a huge fan. I know all the words to “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts,” and I still—even now, in 2013—like the way he sings. But I do not think Bob Dylan should get this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. In fact, I don’t think any American writer should get this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. Here’s why.

The Nobel was established in 1901 by the will of Alfred Nobel, who stipulated that part of his estate be dedicated to rewarding annually “the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.” Let’s take a moment to marvel that this vague directive from Scandinavia somehow morphed into the world’s superpower of literary prizes. The Pulitzer, also founded by last will and testament at the beginning of the 20th century…

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