Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to The Fictional Woods. We hope you enjoy your visit.


You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free.


Join our community!


If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
Nobel Prize 2014
Topic Started: Sep 3 2014, 11:26 PM (7,847 Views)
Demiurge
Member Avatar
Literary lunatic
[ *  *  * ]
I can't discuss the literary merit of the present incumbent of the prize, but it seems the prize is now an absolute joke and completely worthless. I've known this sentiment about the prize for years, but today it well and truly hit home. Based on reputation of the current winner, it shows that the award is not based on merit and politics, or merit alone. Are Pynchon, Roth, Kundera, Eco, Krashnorkai etc, etc, etc a less worthy winner than Modiano? Unlikely. Can't understand any rational thought process to award him the prize other than to promote somebody obscure and unknown. That is the job of agents and publishing houses, not a supposedly prestigious literary prize. He's not even an underdog, but a random lottery left field pick, obscure and unknown. We hardly discuss him on these woods, and this site discusses everybody! (Although a search did highlight a few mentions, and a comprehensive and informative review by DDR) I like the stance of Heteronym, a Nobel prize will not change my mind in reading him. I hope this rant is totally wrong and the guy is a genius, and I was stupid because to read him is an enlightening and worthwhile experience.
Edited by Demiurge, Oct 9 2014, 07:00 AM.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
byrd
Member Avatar
byrd is the wyrd
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Is Modiano a shruggable writer? Not in the sense that he was an obvious choice, but has it gone so far round that he becomes shruggable again?
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
sub-pet
Member Avatar
I have a pony
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Demiurge
Oct 9 2014, 06:58 AM
it seems the prize is an absolute joke and completely worthless.
you could have just left it like this.

i've had the urge to rail against the nobbels a couple of times here, but decided against it because it's all pretty obvious. Really the main thing that bothers me is this notion of being "nobble-worthy", as if nobbel was an actual thing that should be aspired to and, more importantly, as if there was such a thing as "deserving something". "Deserving", to me, is a stupid and often very harmful concept that really means nothing, because a context where it would seem to make sense is pretty much always built on some nonsensical premises.

So, i just kinda feel the nobsel is its own ridiculous thing, devoid of all meaning, other than a fringe influence on some cultural game that some folks seem to enjoy, which is all well and good, as long as it's not taken too seriously, and i don't think it actually is
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
miercuri
Member Avatar
pocket sized
[ *  *  * ]
Marcel's been yelling about the award in all caps on twitter for an hour now.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Demiurge
Member Avatar
Literary lunatic
[ *  *  * ]

Apparently Modiano is not as unknown as I conveyed, but the same sentiment still stands. Interestingly other books forums (which I do not post on) some of the members (themselves massive reading enthusiasts) have not heard of the guy, but still think he's a worthy winner because (a) they have not heard of him (more authors to read, right?) and (b) because his prose is good but not great, but it doesn't have to be great to win the Nobel.

So, according to those members on the other site, lets (implicitly) diminish the epic achievements of people like Gass with his wonderfully written novel like The Tunnel, or McCarthy with Blood Meridian those awe-inspiring writers that members on this site adore and praise for their prose, insights, and wax lyrical about their novelistic ability, because we think its okay for middling prose writers to win a prestigious literary prize, admired by the public all over the world.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
oneofmurphysbiscuits
Member Avatar
marmalade modernist
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
I've never read him, nor am I likely to given my impatience with matters literary and existential, oh woe is them, poor loves

Edited by oneofmurphysbiscuits, Oct 9 2014, 08:10 AM.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
suzannahhh
Member Avatar
Forum junkie
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
for years now
I have found the Nobel Prize in Literature
to be mostly irrelevant
to my choice of books to read

it is more a disappointment
than it is anything else
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
FriendCatcher
Member Avatar
Acolyte
[ *  * ]
I read Missing Person (Rues des boutiques obscures in the original) a while back, and remember thinking it was pretty good, but nothing that remarkable. It certainly didn't make me want to actively seek out any of his other works. The main thing I remember about it was how much Auster obviously cribbed from/alluded to it in his New York Trilogy, to be honest.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Heteronym
Member Avatar
Forum junkie
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
miercuri
Oct 9 2014, 07:39 AM
Marcel's been yelling about the award in all caps on twitter for an hour now.
Oh he's on the twitter? Link?
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
oneofmurphysbiscuits
Member Avatar
marmalade modernist
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
FriendCatcher
Oct 9 2014, 08:25 AM
I read Missing Person (Rues des boutiques obscures in the original) a while back, and remember thinking it was pretty good, but nothing that remarkable. It certainly didn't make me want to actively seek out any of his other works. The main thing I remember about it was how much Auster obviously cribbed from/alluded to it in his New York Trilogy, to be honest.
I read the beginning of the book online and straight away thought of Auster, zzzzzz.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Heteronym
Member Avatar
Forum junkie
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
oneofmurphysbiscuits
Oct 9 2014, 08:39 AM
FriendCatcher
Oct 9 2014, 08:25 AM
I read Missing Person (Rues des boutiques obscures in the original) a while back, and remember thinking it was pretty good, but nothing that remarkable. It certainly didn't make me want to actively seek out any of his other works. The main thing I remember about it was how much Auster obviously cribbed from/alluded to it in his New York Trilogy, to be honest.
I read the beginning of the book online and straight away thought of Auster, zzzzzz.
I thought more of Chandler, prose-wise, which is not really my thing either.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
miercuri
Member Avatar
pocket sized
[ *  *  * ]
Heteronym
Oct 9 2014, 08:29 AM
miercuri
Oct 9 2014, 07:39 AM
Marcel's been yelling about the award in all caps on twitter for an hour now.
Oh he's on the twitter? Link?
@songs_n_socks
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Demiurge
Member Avatar
Literary lunatic
[ *  *  * ]
The tweets by Marcel are hilarious. Interesting, although of little importance, his gripes about the Nobel mirror my gripes (and probably a billion other peoples)
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
oneofmurphysbiscuits
Member Avatar
marmalade modernist
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
I'll only ever get cross if Auster wins (I used to think the same of Murakami, but until I try again with, I reserve judgement) otherwise I can't be arsed. Prizes, set texts and the conflation of, does bother me though.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Cleanthes
Member Avatar
Dinanukht wannabe
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
I think that Accident Nocturne might be a good entry point into Modiano for those who like Borges or Saramago's Last Year of Ricardo Reis. Accident Nocturne is a mystery novel, but a very original and different kind of Borgesian mystery novel (think The Aleph as a novel, but seemingly without the supernatural elements). An ironic mystery novel, written to subvert Freudian interpretations (look for the hidden reference to Freud in the quote below).

Quote:
 
It was three years ago, around the same time the old lady attacked me, but closer to June or July, that I was walking down the quai de la Tournelle. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon. I was looking at boxes of books from some of the bookstalls. Suddenly, my eyes captured the image of three very noticeable volumes, held together by a thick red rubber band. The first volume's yellow cover, its title and author's name written in black letters made my heart jump: The Concealing Memory by Fred Bouviere. I removed the rubber band. Two other books by Bouviere: Drugs And Therapies and Lies And Confessions. These books had been alluded to many times during the course of the Denfert-Rochereau meetings. Three impossible to find books, of which he had said that they were his youthful works. [...] I remembered all. I asked the bookseller where he had bought these books. He shrugged and said: somebody was moving out of town... Remembering the way in which Genevieve Dalame used to look at Bouviere with her blue eyes, the way she drank his words, I told myself that it was impossible for her to just get rid of these three books. Unless she wanted to brutally break away from a period of her life. Or she was dead.


Modiano (or his editor) is even kind enough to suggest where to begin to unpack Accident nocturne by placing this text on the back page of the French paperback edition:
Quote:
 
Under which kind of familiar structure did you grow up? I answered: none. Do you have any strong memories concerning your father or mother? I answered: only very vague ones. Do you consider yourself to be a good son [or daughter]? I've never been anybody's son. Was the goal of your education to gain your parent's respect or to adapt to your social circle? No education. No parents. No respect. No social circle. Which do you prefer? The depth of suffering or the lightness of joy? The lightness of joy. Do you want to change your life or to recover a lost paradise? To recover a lost paradise
Edited by Cleanthes, Oct 9 2014, 10:42 AM.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
nnyhav
Member Avatar
itinerant kibitzer
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
I don't have an opinion on this year's selection, not being familiar with Modiano, but I find it amusing that, just as in 2008, after Engdahl holds forth on the insularity of American culture, the committee selects a respected but underknown (at least in the anglosphere) French author.

(The flaw in my logic upthread was that the winner would be on Ladbrokes' initial list, but I was unaware that Magnus Puke had moved on ...)
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Cleanthes
Member Avatar
Dinanukht wannabe
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
As for the claims of Modiano being obscure. On these here Woods, we have a whole thread devoted to the European Literature Canon. And on that thread there's this list of the greatest books written in Europe since 2000 compiled by the German language 'Die Zeit':

2000 Smith, White Teeth
2000 Esterhazy, Celestial Harmonies
2002 Pamuk, Snow
2003 Modiano, Accident Nocturne (no English translation yet?)
2004 Enquist, The Book about Blanche and Marie
2005 Kehlmann, Measuring the World
2005 Nadas, Parallel Stories
2008 Tokarczuk, Bieguni
2008 Tellkamp, The Tower
2009 NDiaye, Three Strong Women
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
kline19
Member Avatar
worker bee
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
miercuri
Oct 9 2014, 07:39 AM
Marcel's been yelling about the award in all caps on twitter for an hour now.
:laugh:
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
mandm
Member Avatar
Forum junkie
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
I've got one of his books here at home, let me see....Voyage de noces. I might even have read it. I've certainly given some of it to students to translate. But I certainly didn't find it memorable...
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
nnyhav
Member Avatar
itinerant kibitzer
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
after a short notice, "... Patrick Modiano has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. His work evokes 'the most ungraspable human destinies,' the Swedish Academy says. Apologies to the many runners up whose work evokes only the second most ungraspable human destinies.", the closer reading:
http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2014/10/09/how-to-win-the-nobel-prize/
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
DealsFor.me - The best sales, coupons, and discounts for you
Go to Next Page
« Previous Topic · General discussion · Next Topic »
Add Reply