On the occasion of the NYT winning a Pulitzer Prize for the history/fantasy "1619 Project," Scott Adams reveals why the Pulitzer Prize is meaningless.

And he used to want one (for his comic strip):



I've always remembered what Saul Bellow said about the Pulitzer Prize — recounted in the May 11, 1984, NYT article "PUBLISHING: PULITZER CONTROVERSIES":
For years it seemed that Saul Bellow would never win the Pulitzer, although he was often a serious contender. In addition to ''Henderson the Rain King,'' his ''Adventures of Augie March'' was a finalist in 1954, and ''Mr. Sammler's Planet'' was a 1971 finalist. Both times the board decided to forgo a fiction award.
What a kick in the head! They didn't give the award to somebody else, but to no one.
In ''Humboldt's Gift,'' published in 1972, Mr. Bellow's narrator, Charlie Citrine, is depicted as a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, who nevertheless agrees with Humboldt's assessment: ''The Pulitzer is for the birds - for the pullets. It's just a dummy newspaper publicity award given by crooks and illiterates. You become a walking Pulitzer ad, so even when you croak the first word of the obituary is 'Pulitzer Prize winner passes.' ''

Reminded of that passage soon after ''Humboldt's Gift'' won in 1973, Mr. Bellow laughed and said he thought it would be best to accept the award ''in dignified silence.''
Now, when Saul Bellow died, they did not say "Pulitzer Prize winner passes." They said Nobel Prize winner passes:
Saul Bellow, the Nobel laureate and self-proclaimed historian of society whose fictional heroes -- and whose scathing, unrelenting and darkly comic examination of their struggle for meaning -- gave new immediacy to the American novel in the second half of the 20th century, died yesterday at his home in Brookline, Mass. He was 89.
If you have to be a walking billboard for some prize-bestowing outfit, it's best to be a Nobel ad.

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