Re: Nobel Prize for Literature
Posted by Sterling on 5/10/2011, 22:59:19, in reply to "Re: Nobel Prize for Literature"
I read over what I wrote this morning, and it strikes me as a little strong. (I must not have been in a very good mood.) Not that I take any of it back, but I would like to clarify myself. |
First, although I certainly consider myself a loyal American, I'm not some kind of George W, jingoistic superpatriot. I don't really care if the US never wins another Nobel Prize. I mean, it's not the Olympics where everybody is pulling for their own nation to do well. The best writers should win, regardless of nationality, and I'm good with that.
The political nature of the Nobels galls me. I believe that too often they do not award the prize to a top tier author but to one who has the right political slant. And that's a little odd, because essentially it's my political slant. (Let's just say I'm a leftist and leave it at that.) But the bias annoys me as much as if the prize always went to a reactionary or a conservative.
I understand why the rest of the world despised the US during the Bush years. I was none too happy with us myself. But the open, unashamed, upfront prejudice against America and its writers is shocking. Suppose instead of saying that American literature is "too isolated, too insular," he had said, "We won't be awarding the prize in the foreseeable future to a sub-Saharan African writer. They're too distant and different from Europe, the great literary centre of our age." He'd be lucky if he wasn't stripped of his job and banished to permanent exile.
I'd like to also state that, frankly, I don't really think that any of the proposed American writers are a good fit for the award. In my opinion, Roth is not good enough, Oates and DeLillo are not important enough, and McCarthy and Pynchon just seem too much the mavericks to award them the prize. I love Pynchon and have a very high regard for McCarthy, but I don't see them as Nobel Laureates. Let them stay off the grid.
I'd love to see Bob Dylan win, though.
: Thanks Steven. I do monitor the postings on a regular
: basis, even if I don't post anything. Always great to
: read what you guys have to say.
: I agree with what Sterling said for the most part. I
: also think, though, that what the author of the
: article is really raging against is the MFA culture
: (and the type of writing it espouses) that seems to
: dominate American literature. In this sense, he's
: absolutely right in his criticism. That said, not
: every writer succombs to this, and the really good
: ones transcend it entirely, shouldn't be grouped with
: the MFAers, and are worthy of Nobel consideration.
: Cormac McCarthy comes to mind.
: Predictions: If it's true that they're looking
: outside of Europe, then one of the two people I always
: predict to win, William Trevor (the other, Mario
: Vargas Llosa, finally won it last year), is out. It
: could very well go to a poet, and if that's the case,
: I can't offer up any suggestions.
: As far as novelists go, though, I'd guess that Haruki
: Murakami would be near the top given his oeuvre and
: the praise for his new novel, and since Canada hasn't
: won save for Saul Bellow, I'd put Margaret Atwood up
: there too (though I'd prefer Alice Munro get it).
: Carlos Fuentes of Mexico also is deserving, but I
: can't see them giving it to two Latin American writers
: in a row. I can also see Ismail Kadare as a dark
: My opinion: I hope it's William Trevor, but I predict
: it will be Haruki Murakami.
: --Previous Message--
: Glad to see you back, Rizwan. Stay a while and help us
: pick our book club selections for 2012.
: Thanks for the link to the article. I can see the
: author's point, at least with regard to writers like
: Roth, Updike and Oates. However, I don't think the
: criticism applies to Cormac McCarthy any more than it
: does to Thomas Pynchon.
: I wish he had said a bit more about the non-American
: laureates and candidates whom he considers more
: worthy. What is it in their writing that sets them
: apart as being less narcissistic and insular.
: --Previous Message--
: Interesting article on Americans & the Nobel: