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Nobel Prize 2014
Topic Started: Sep 3 2014, 11:26 PM (7,366 Views)
param
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Cleanthes
Sep 5 2014, 09:50 AM

Virginie Despentes, author of 'interesting' books like...
I thought you are going to mention the book which she later made into a movie as her first directorial venture :)
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param
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Bjorn
Sep 5 2014, 06:12 AM

Amin Maalouf (65) - combines fiction and non-fiction, would appeal to Eco fans, and the more people read The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, the better

Amin Maalouf is Lebanese, right ?

Probably the current political situation in the region might not help his cause, but he will be in the reckoning soon.


This website put forward a new name from Ivory Coast http://www.africatopsuccess.com/en/2...of-literature/
Edited by param, Sep 5 2014, 10:15 AM.
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Bjorn
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That link seems broken, was it this one? Can't say I've ever heard of Bernard Dadié, and Wikipedia lists his last published work as being from 1982. Doesn't discount that he may be a fine writer, of course, though I'm always wary of any nomination that's made publicly (remember that South American nobody from a few years ago?), and by the Ivorian government at that... Has anyone read him?

ETA: Plus, well, if they only nominated him a week ago, he's not really in the running, is he?

Maalouf is Lebanese, yeah, though a French citizen these days, writing in French.
Edited by Bjorn, Sep 5 2014, 10:44 AM.
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miercuri
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Bjorn
Sep 4 2014, 08:39 AM


Trying to find patterns is always tricky, but I wonder if they feel that giving it to Munro last year gives them carte blanche to go with someone with less established mainstream appeal this year. Coetzee was followed by Jelinek, Lessing by Le Clézio, Vargas Llosa by Tranströmer...
The only pattern I see is the long (now) line of established writers. TT might not have been well known, but among 'punters' his name was always raised, and barely anyone complained. Llosa, TT, Mo Yan and Munro are "shruggable" writers, writers you see winning and shrug and think: "oh, sure, yeah, that makes sense." I would hope for an interesting choice this year (and not in the sense of the word in which Claudel, Beigbeder or Despentes are apparently 'interesting').
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Didi
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South Koreans do not get much a mention apart from Ko Un. Like to see Hwang Sok-yong get a mention sometime especially given the state of parts the world at the moment (I found Guest quite powerful)

And for Argentina - Piglia and Aira would not look out of place receiving the award.

On the francophone side, I have heard the French associations have pushed Michon.
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Didi
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On Romanians (where my focus lies), I note that the Writers’ Union in Romania proposed/submitted to the academy Nicolae Breban, Mircea Cartarescu, Norman Manea and Varujan Vosganian - the last (former Economy minister) was not expected at all.

Cartarescu is clearly one of the favourites - but I relatively recently read his poetry and was not overtly impressed - I think he needs to bring out another great novel to win this. Manea should not be completely discounted and Breban is little known.

So not Romania's year this year I think (if Nina Cassian did not pass away this year I would have placed her ahead of the above - just a personal preference).
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Bjorn
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Didi
Sep 5 2014, 06:40 PM
Cartarescu is clearly one of the favourites - but I relatively recently read his poetry and was not overtly impressed - I think he needs to bring out another great novel to win this.
Well, Orbitor is only getting released in English now, so (sadly) as far as much of the world is concerned, it's a brand-new great novel. I do agree that he probably still has greatness ahead off him, though, so there's no real hurry.

Hwang would be great, agreed.

Quote:
 
The only pattern I see is the long (now) line of established writers. TT might not have been well known, but among 'punters' his name was always raised, and barely anyone complained. Llosa, TT, Mo Yan and Munro are "shruggable" writers, writers you see winning and shrug and think: "oh, sure, yeah, that makes sense."

Well, among the more well-read, absolutely - some people are still going to go "Who?", but then again, they do that with any writer who's not Stephen King. And there was complaining when TT got it, not to mention Mo Yan, for various reasons - though you're right, few of them actually made the "NOBODY has ever heard of this guy" complaint. But that's partly precisely because people have started discussing the Nobel so extensively that it's almost impossible to give it to an author who hasn't been mentioned by at least ten experts, and I do still think there's a difference in mainstream popularity between, say, Munro and Müller, and some people definitely saw Munro's prize as pandering to a larger audience. (Of course, whether the Academy gives a rat's ass about popularity is doubtful, but I do think the days of the prize going to someone that not even those who take an active interest in it have at least heard mentioned are over.)
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byrd
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Bjorn
Sep 6 2014, 05:33 AM
Didi
Sep 5 2014, 06:40 PM
Cartarescu is clearly one of the favourites - but I relatively recently read his poetry and was not overtly impressed - I think he needs to bring out another great novel to win this.
Well, Orbitor is only getting released in English now, so (sadly) as far as much of the world is concerned, it's a brand-new great novel. I do agree that he probably still has greatness ahead off him, though, so there's no real hurry.

Hwang would be great, agreed.

Quote:
 
The only pattern I see is the long (now) line of established writers. TT might not have been well known, but among 'punters' his name was always raised, and barely anyone complained. Llosa, TT, Mo Yan and Munro are "shruggable" writers, writers you see winning and shrug and think: "oh, sure, yeah, that makes sense."

Well, among the more well-read, absolutely - some people are still going to go "Who?", but then again, they do that with any writer who's not Stephen King. And there was complaining when TT got it, not to mention Mo Yan, for various reasons - though you're right, few of them actually made the "NOBODY has ever heard of this guy" complaint. But that's partly precisely because people have started discussing the Nobel so extensively that it's almost impossible to give it to an author who hasn't been mentioned by at least ten experts, and I do still think there's a difference in mainstream popularity between, say, Munro and Müller, and some people definitely saw Munro's prize as pandering to a larger audience. (Of course, whether the Academy gives a rat's ass about popularity is doubtful, but I do think the days of the prize going to someone that not even those who take an active interest in it have at least heard mentioned are over.)
The problem with giving the Nobel to nonshruggable writers is that you might end up with a list of winners in 30 years time whose work doesn't really stand the test of time and you think who the hell is X? And how come Pynchon, Joyce (insert favourite neglected writer here ) etc... never won when they were clearly better than X?

Winning the Nobel has the opportunity to raise a lesser-known writer's profile, but i don't think that picking lesser-known authors should be the panel's primary concern. That would make the Nobel seem like a hipster prize for literary geeks.
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Didi
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I have been revisiting David Damrosch's World Literature in Theory where there is an interesting analysis of the prize. I am convinced of the immense complexity bestowed upon the Swedish academy for this prize much more so that the other Nobel prize or any other literary prize, a complexity (as it exists today) which Nobel himself could not have envisaged.

On the question of a world literary space:

"One objective indicator of the existence of this world literary space is the (almost) unanimous belief in the universality of the Nobel Prize for literature. The significance attributed to this award, the peculiar diplomacy involved, the national expectations engendered, the colossal renown it bestows; even (above all ?) the annual criticism of its Swedish jury for its alleged lack of objectivity, its supposed political prejudices, its aesthetic errors - all conspire to make this annual canonization a global engagement for the protagonists of literary space. The Nobel prize is today one of the truly international literary consecrations, a unique laboratory for the designation and definition of what is universal in literature. The echoes it creates each year, the expectations aroused, the beliefs stirred all reaffirm the existence of a literary world stretching across virtually the entire planet, with its own mode of celebration, both autonomous - not subject, at least not directly, to political, linguistic, national, nationalist or commercial criteria - and global. In this sense, the Nobel prize is a prime, objective indicator of the existence of a world literary space"
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Didi
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extract of a 2012 interview by Englund with Englund:

"I can not resist myself: do you and the other ones in the Swedish Academy have some kind of bias against authors from the USA, Canada or Australia?

No, of course not!

So there are authors from these countries that could actually win the Nobel Prize for Literature?

Yes, certainly! But do not ask about names……"



Ok Canada now understood and not unusual to mention US in this context - but why mention Australia ?
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Bjorn
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Beats me, I've never heard that complaint before. Sure there's only been one Australian winner (White), but that or less is true for a lot of countries. Probably just Englund being sarcastic. He does that.
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Didi
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The biggest bias with the Prize selection in my opinion is that towards fiction as against non-fiction. Would be great to see non-fiction get its fair share.

The last Nobel prize winner who was more renown for his non-fiction (in this case essays) was Jean-Paul Sartre. And that was exactly 50 years ago.

Hawking is low on the Physics long list – surprise us and give the Literature prize to Hawking or some other non-fiction writer.
Maybe have a fiction and non-fiction writer share the prize.

(Edit –I forgot that nnyhav already correctly raised the unlikely prospect within the context of Alexievich's nonfiction)
Edited by Didi, Sep 8 2014, 08:12 PM.
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nnyhav
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hey no worries (but funny that rumination on nonfiction should so closely follow one on objective indicators)

Ladbroker odds up, or should I say down: Ngugi wa Thiong'o to 6/1, and Jon Fosse at 12/1 ...


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Didi
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Re Fosse
Seems to be happening again – per last year (via wire):

“The strangest development, though, concerns a relative unknown who has surpassed well-heeled talent to shoot from 100/1 to 9/1 odds in a brief window of time. That would be Jon Fosse, a Norwegian author, poet, and playwright who has been steadily making a name for himself since the early 1980s…”

And for the same reasons.

(Edit: similarly for Ngugi wa Thiong'o)

Ah those puppet masters.
Edited by Didi, Sep 9 2014, 07:31 PM.
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nnyhav
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yes but ... Mo Yan an the early mover even from initial 12/1, as was le Clezio, and IIRC Transtromer (Munro started high on the list, 12/1)
Edited by nnyhav, Sep 9 2014, 07:56 PM.
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Bjorn
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Didi
Sep 9 2014, 06:41 PM
Re Fosse
Seems to be happening again – per last year (via wire):

“The strangest development, though, concerns a relative unknown who has surpassed well-heeled talent to shoot from 100/1 to 9/1 odds in a brief window of time. That would be Jon Fosse, a Norwegian author, poet, and playwright who has been steadily making a name for himself since the early 1980s…”

And for the same reasons.
Woah. Someone may have bet several pounds on Fosse, then. :P

I have trouble seeing it going to a Scandinavian again this soon, to be honest.
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Didi
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I understand that Jon Fosse is the most performed living playwright within Continental Europe less so outside of Europe and worthy of consideration. If playwrights are being considered then a few others come to mind as well most notably Tom Stoppard. Arcadia is a masterful play that does not need to be seen performed to be appreciated.
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Funhouse
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Didi
Sep 16 2014, 02:53 PM
I understand that Jon Fosse is the most performed living playwright within Continental Europe less so outside of Europe and worthy of consideration. If playwrights are being considered then a few others come to mind as well most notably Tom Stoppard. Arcadia is a masterful play that does not need to be seen performed to be appreciated.
Stoppard is usually fairly middling in the Ladbrokes odds, isn't he? I think he's written enough great works to be a serious contender. I agree that Arcadia might be his best. I taught it for the first time to students this year, and teaching a text is a great way to appreciate how good it really is. R&G Are Dead is also incredibly good.
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roger
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A theater company in Philadelphia is doing a mini-Stoppard festival next month with Arcadia as the centerpiece, and also rare performances of some of Stoppards' early short works which I hope to catch.

I've seen almost all of his major plays, the main exception being the massive three part The Coast of Utopia which received it's only American production at Lincoln Center a few years ago. I find Stoppard overall to be uneven. His cleverness and erudition sometimes overwhelm (and disguise) the meager scale of the drama. Still there are some genuine masterpieces (R&G, The Invention of Love, above all Arcadia) but also some clunkers (Rock n Roll, Jumpers, India Ink). I'm not in any way qualified to judge who should win the Nobel Prize, but his good plays seem good enough to me to merit serious consideration. And The Real Inspector Hound is one of the funniest plays I've ever seen (which counts for me but probably not for the Nobel judges).

.

Edited by roger, Sep 17 2014, 02:48 PM.
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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Stoppard doesn't cut it, for me (I've posted about this over time, here, much reading of, thinking about and seeing) I think Arcadia is dreadful, but I love R and G,(Beckett!) Invention of Love, many of the early works most of all. And The Coast of Utopia, which nevertheless frustrated me for demonstrating of the thing that most frustrates me about Stoppard, and which I'm not going to write about at length in the Nobel thread
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