Re: Sense of and Ending - Julian Barnes
Posted by guillermo maynez on 15/2/2012, 13:45:48, in reply to "Re: Sense of and Ending - Julian Barnes"
Thanks a lot! Now I'm ready to win the Booker prize, if not next year, maybe in 15 or 20 (if I make it). Now, seriously, what your friend says is disturbing. Although I still like "The Sense of an Ending", all the points seem to sharpen an intuition many people have: that prizes are inextricably linked to the editorial market, and increasingly remote from true literary quality. |
Here in Mexico we've just had a grose scandal and a lamentable case. In the first, the guy in charge of Cultural Promotion in the National University received the Villaurrutia Prize, a highly prestigious prize won in the past by writers like Juan Rulfo and Octavio Paz. To begin with, there seems to be a conflict of interest in a high-ranking officer of the University receiving a prize given by the said university; but second, he was found out to be a literal plagiarist. He refused to give up either his position or his prize, but yesterday he was forced to do both. In the second, less scandalous, case, a writer named Jorge Volpi won the also prestigious prize Planeta-House of the Americas. He doesn't seem to deserve it.
Sad, but true.
: One of my friends on LibraryThing just finished reading
: The Sense of an Ending, and while he said it was a
: good book of its kind, he couldn't believe that there
: weren't other, meatier books deserving of the Booker
: Prize. (Of course, the entire shortlist was heavily
: criticized for being too influenced by
: readability=marketability.) This is, in part, what he
: Just what was the selection criteria used by the Man
: Booker panel? I can only suppose it was something like
: 1) A well respected previously nominated author with
: at least ten published novels
: 2) A novel that can be read at one sitting, is not too
: heavy to read in bed and is under 150 pages long
: 3) Subject matter that would appeal to an over 60
: reading group that is well represented on the judging
: panel - J B's novel is perfect with its reflections on
: the passing of time and its nostalgia for times past
: 4) A final twist and a satisfactory tying up of loose
: ends so that the reader gets a sense of fulfilment
: when finishing.
: 5) It must be witty at all times with a couple of good
: jokes and any aphorisms should be repeated to ensure
: they hit the mark
: 6) There must be a time shift in the novel as its well
: known that most novels today have at least two parts.
: 7) There ought to be some cultural references - J B
: scores highly here with his naming of Donovan's A gift
: from a flower to a garden. This shows good taste and
: some 60's street cred.
: 8) Any difficult words or Latin phrases should be
: fully explained in the text, the reader should not be
: troubled with the chore of looking things up.
: 9) The novel must be well written with no annoying
: intertextuality or stylistic unevenness.
: 10) There should be no hint of experimentation,
: literary cleverness or any of that post modernism
: 11) Unwritten criteria - A white male author over 60
: would be acceptable to all panel members.
Message Thread | Skip to this response ↓|