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Nobel Prize 2017
Topic Started: Aug 23 2017, 10:58 PM (12,842 Views)
Didi
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A bit early I know, but I might get this kick started (even though odds are not out).

Again I am hoping this year’s thread proves to be another successful one in terms of discovering some new authors/books.

Some preliminary views:

The 2016 (delayed) announcement indicated there was some conflict within the Academy – it may have involved choosing between Dylan and another American author (DeLillo’s name comes up most) or choosing both. The other possibility is that the conflict was on choosing Dylan or some other non-American author. This other non-American must be in the calculations this year if this scenario occurred (maybe one of those who turned to be late hot favourites).

I expected back to back female winners for 2015/2016 which proved wrong – I am thinking a female winner this year is more likely than not. Unlike my speculations for the past 2 years (for obvious reasons) I do not think it will be an American winner.

Scandinavia has had only 1 winner since 1974. Very low in view of the prize’s history and hence can be taken as well overdue.

I do not expect a repeat of 2016 (in terms of a winner that gives rise to a debate as to what the scope of the prize should be). Although there have been early very minor mentions associated with science non-fiction (which I am a huge advocate for) and an unidentifiable author/s (Bandi).

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Didi
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I acknowledge the number of past Polish winners but I sense this year’s award could go to Olga Tokarczuk.

Having read all her (English) translated works to date and particularly impressed with Flights (and understand Books of Jacob may be at another level), she is my number one favourite for this year.

Interestingly, she (with her translator) late last year won the inaugural Kulturhuset Stadsteatern International Literary Award in Stockholm for the translation of The Books of Jakob into Swedish. The jury included some of the leading Swedish commentators on the Nobel prize and I will be interested in what they have to say about Nobel speculations this year.

Per Olga on winning: “I feel as though I’ve received the Nobel Prize"
Edited by Didi, Aug 23 2017, 11:01 PM.
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redhead
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\WLF started a speculation thread a month ago, so perhaps not all that early.

Olga Tokarczuk would be a great winner, but I think she's a bit young. I could see her winning within the next ten years, but maybe not this coming October.

If the prize comes back to Scandinavia soon, I think it will be a Norwegian. Plenty of great writers there now. My preference would be for Jon Fosse, but there are a couple of others I wouldn't complain about winning.

And when you say late hot favorites, who are you thinking of, Didi?
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Didi
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Ah yes WLF have started early indeed I see. I have had a quick scan of that thread and your post on Cartarescu did cause me to reflect on his chances, you raise a fair point (his work is not easily defined and may possibly not easily fit in whatever may constitute “ideal” etc –but hey the jury shows enormous flexibility in this regard)

I have been of the firm view that Mircea Cartarescu was not there yet and that he needed to produce something else that goes above his previous works in order to be a true contender. Well having read Solenoid last summer (I will eventually post something more substantial in his thread), I think he’s got there now and he is likely to be the first Romanian language winner of the Nobel Prize.

I guess similarly with Krasznahorkai with regard to Baron Wenckheim's Return (but without the benefit of reading this – a number of translations due next year but not Swedish).

I see both winning the Nobel prize at some time. Both these authors and Olga as well may have recently produced what may be their defining masterpiece. I see all three winning at some stage. I am sticking with Olga to win this year – young she may be but she has been on the radar of the Swedish commentators from at least 2011.

I’ll come back on your other points soon.
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Didi
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The Norwegians were exactly who I am thinking about with regard to Scandinavians. The big 4 arguably are as follows, in the order of chance of winning in my view:

Kjell Askildsen
Dag Solstad
Jon Fosse
Karl Ove Knausgaard

Kjell Askildsen and Jon Fosse have been incrementally moving up the Ladbrokes ladder over the years. Kjell Askildsen’s best collection from what I gather came out in 2015.
I am not sure that the English translations properly represent Dag’s best works.
Anyway:

http://lithub.com/norways-greatest-writer-is-actually-dag-solstad/

They may go for someone outside these, and there are many good writers, Hanne Orstavik for instance, although you may argue she is too young as well.

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Cleanthes
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Didi
Aug 24 2017, 07:28 PM
Ah yes WLF have started early indeed I see.
WLF? What is that?
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kline19
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Didi
Aug 24 2017, 07:49 PM


http://lithub.com/norways-greatest-writer-is-actually-dag-solstad/

They may go for someone outside these, and there are many good writers, Hanne Orstavik for instance, although you may argue she is too young as well.

this article is amazing! thank you for posting it.
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nnyhav
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Given how repeatedly wrong-footed the prize-givers appeared last year, I suspect they'll be playing it safe this

So some of the usual suspects stand a better chance: Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Adonis, Ismail Kadare ... and Jon Fosse I s'pose

But take cautionary note of Bjorn's link last year to New Republic's Who Will Win the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature? Not Bob Dylan, that's for sure.

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Didi
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Red, on your question:

Mainly based on your own post last year that showed significant movements in the odds
I am thinking of Marias in particular (even ended at the same odds as Dylan last year)
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Didi
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Yes agree nnyhav they will play it safe this year but not too safe, playing it too safe implies some regret and the Academy is too proud for that.
Interested to read the New Republic’s assessment this year especially after their comments on Dylan in the preceding 2 years.
Edited by Didi, Aug 24 2017, 11:37 PM.
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redhead
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They had a fun interview last year after Dylan won: https://newrepublic.com/article/137779/bob-dylan-won-nobel-prize-literature-conversation

And I'm also thinking this year the winner will be a noncontroversial perennial writer. If I had to guess, I'd say a European male like Claudio Magris, Antonio Lobo-Antunes or Javier Marias, though I could see Adunis or Ngugi also winning. I also have an odd feeling that a Korean writer could win. There's been a push to highlight South Korean writers internationally recently, and Le Clezio is probably nominating writers from there (perhaps Oe too, who admires Hwang Sok-yong). Bandi won't win, his identity still isn't 100% confirmed and he only has one book out traceable to him (probably has a bunch of propaganda works in North Korea). Perhaps an NK defector could win, but I don't know of any I'd consider up there with the South Korean giants.

But I'm usually completely wrong about this sort of thing, so who knows.
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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Lobo-Antunes. Yes.
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Funhouse
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Hey, Didi, nice to see you back posting. Thanks for kickstarting this year's conversation. A number of interesting mentions already, which is what I always love about this thread.

I would want to say that surely it would be a woman this year. And/or surely someone from outside Europe/North America.

If we look at the perennial names I would suggest Ngugi or Olga Tokarczuk, who have both already been mentioned. Or maybe it could be Gerald Murnane's year, given that his apparently final book is coming out this year?
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Didi
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Not sure why Einar Mar Gudmundsson is not mentioned in the context of Nobel speculation - he should be. He seems to have a large following outside Iceland in particular Denmark and China.

in terms of recent output, his last novel Hundadagar, is interesting enough (albeit mixed reviews) - would like this translated

it is a fantastical novel based on Jorgen Jorgensen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jørgen_Jørgensen
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Didi
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Another author never mentioned in this context, Vietnamese Bao Ninh

planning to catch up on some of his shorts, I wonder what the status is of Steppes


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Didi
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Brazilian Maria Valéria Rezende, a nun ( Order of Our Lady of Charity), life devoted to improving literacy and also produced works subject to critical acclaim and awards (Outros Cantos in particular)
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Didi
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The Nobel prize for Literature has never been awarded to an Asian woman (who comprise about 30% of the world’s population).

To add to previous years' picks - Kishwar Naheed, the Urdu poet from Pakistan.

Has been previously nominated for the Nobel Prize - the Peace prize.
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Didi
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A couple of Palestinians that may be considered

Ghassan Zaqtan
Ibrahim Nasrallah


both considered an outside chance in past years but now their international reputation is more mature. I am thinking more likely Ghassan Zaqtan out of these two.
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Didi
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A couple of Lebanese writers, the later probably too young (but has been quite prolific) and more likely a consideration in the future

Hoda Barakat
Rabee Jaber
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Didi
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Not mentioned much in this context but possibly Egyptian Sonallah Ibrahim should be a consideration.
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