^Those were the days, my friend!
I have always thought that the age issue has to do with productivity of the author. A writer in their 80s is not likely to still produce a lot of new work, which is a drawback because it's always exciting when a nobel laureate publishes something new. On the other hand, when they are too young (say in their early 40s), their careers may develop in a direction that does not fit the idealistic ideas of the prize. This is probably why authors in their mid 60s to mid 70s have the highest chance of getting the Nobel Prize. Some statistics (just for fun):
The average age of laureates at the time of anouncement 64,47
The median age of laureates at the time of anouncement 67 (the exact middle of the range if you put them in order from youngest to oldest)
The modal age of laureates at the time of anouncement 67 (the most frequently occuring age, there were 8 who were 67 in their year)
Number of laureates in their 40s: 10
Number of laureates in their 50s: 28
Number of laureates in their 60s: 36
Number of laureates in their 70s: 32
Number of laureates in their 80s: 7
Maybe they gave it to Dylan because he was running out of time...
As shown here, the Nobel library owns a copy.
The previous edition of his collected lyrics came out in 2004 and this updated one includes three more albums worth of lyrics, including his universally acclaimed albums Modern Times (2006) and Tempest (2012). (I'm using Metacritic's criteria of a score of 80 or higher as indication for "universal acclaim").
Dylan has been nominated since the late 90s. So say this collection come out in 2014. It was published in October, after Modiano had won that year. In 2015 they likely wanted to swap to a female laureate so Alexievich wins. So in 2016, when they switched back to a male winner and Dylan got it, it was most likely based on this collection making his most updated lyrics, published in poetic form in print, available.
Winners have to be on a shortlist in previous years to win the days. The Academy has explicitly stated this. It's likely that after being nominated around the late 1990s and early 2000s the Academy shortlisted him and referred to his collections of lyrics from 2004 and 1985 as references. Dylan's trio of albums spanning from 1997 to 2006 (Time Out of Mind, Love and Theft, and Modern Times) brought him back into massive critical acclaim after numerous weaker releases in the 1980s and 1990s. They basically reaffirmed his status as America's preeminent lyricist. Given this, an updated, published collection of lyrics covering 2006's Modern Times didn't exist until this collection was released in 2014.
He also fits my self proclaimed publishing criteria for winners (winners must be actively publishing new work, generally within 5 years or less of winning), given that you can consider the lyrics from his 2012 album Tempest a collection of poetry. So this "collection of poetry" can be seen as being released in 2012.
Dylan is hardly running out of time. The last 3 years in a row he's released a new studio album and toured globally for the majority of each year. In no way even remotely does it look like he's slowing down. He just released a triple album a few weeks ago and has many concert and festival appearances booked this year.
Last edited by Isahoinp; 20-Apr-2017 at 02:06.
I don't know why you say, "fits my self proclaimed publishing criteria for winners (winners must be actively publishing new work, generally within 5 years or less of winning)." This is not your idea; this was already mentioned in an interview in regards to Claude Simon and Les Géorgiques.
Last edited by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V; 20-Apr-2017 at 02:25.