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Oh, the anger of the fusty at the announcement of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize! What an outcry from the academy — not the Swedish one, mind you, but that of the world church of literaturology.

The panic of the literary bureaucracy, ensnared in its certainties and steeped in its petty calculations, its half-baked prognostications, its crafty shifts of position, has been palpable. Was the choice of Dylan political or nonpolitical? Why an American? Why not a woman? Or a voice, any voice, of a visible minority? Or this one, who’s been waiting 20 years? Or that one, who’s given up hope?

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