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Nobel Prize 2017
Topic Started: Aug 23 2017, 10:58 PM (12,824 Views)
redhead
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Well, for a change of pace, I'll say he wasn't exactly my first choice, but overall I'm happy with the pick. One of the better recent picks in my eyes.
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Heteronym
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redhead
Oct 9 2017, 10:37 AM
Well, for a change of pace, I'll say he wasn't exactly my first choice, but overall I'm happy with the pick. One of the better recent picks in my eyes.
A decade ago, I enjoyed reading The Remains of the Day. But I only know Ishiguro from that novel. These days, for a few years now, I don't care who wins; I don't follow the discussions, I don't try to guess. The probabilities of someone I've actually read and enjoyed winning are so slim, it's a waste of time and energy. I even forget it's that time of the year until I start seeing this thread rise like Lazarus.

I'm more fascinated by the fallout, the spectacle around the whole thing afterwards. So many columnists take the prize so seriously and think its behaviour and choices will have earth-shattering implications for the future of literature, it's so funny.
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suzannahhh
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Heteronym
Oct 9 2017, 04:12 PM
redhead
Oct 9 2017, 10:37 AM
Well, for a change of pace, I'll say he wasn't exactly my first choice, but overall I'm happy with the pick. One of the better recent picks in my eyes.
A decade ago, I enjoyed reading The Remains of the Day. But I only know Ishiguro from that novel. These days, for a few years now, I don't care who wins; I don't follow the discussions, I don't try to guess. The probabilities of someone I've actually read and enjoyed winning are so slim, it's a waste of time and energy. I even forget it's that time of the year until I start seeing this thread rise like Lazarus.

I'm more fascinated by the fallout, the spectacle around the whole thing afterwards. So many columnists take the prize so seriously and think its behaviour and choices will have earth-shattering implications for the future of literature, it's so funny.
I concur completely, hetero
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redhead
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I enjoy the speculation because I enjoy award speculation in general, but yeah I know it could easily get annoying to others.

And yes, the hype around the prize is a bit ridiculous. Too many people (including me a few years ago) treated it as some big canon of authors when it's really just an award, only with more name recognition and a longer legacy.
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nnyhav
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It's just the award, the one everybody's heard of however little read, with a cachet not only from longevity but also by association with the awards in the sciences and the Peace Prize. It matters less to me as I've become better read (& speaking of canons, among my 10 fave 20c writers only Beckett chosen), and last year's fiasco almost put me off it entirely (this year merely a lost opportunity), but in terms of keeping literature alive to the general public it has no equal. Which is why squandering the legacy (downward arc upthread, turning it into just an award) irks me.
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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I find the month upon month second guessing, listings and meta/purported reasonings about to be inordinately tedious and having very little bearing on the books I read,i'm trying to remember if I've ever read an author on my own account and because they were a Nobel recipient andi'm not sure there is one. But it should count for something, if they're really as self important as all that (and here I mean the academy members) then it ought to matter; they ought/should be able to think about what they're saying in giving an award once given to Beckett to Ishiguro, it's casual impoverishment and an abdication by stealth of responsibilities avowed, not abjured.
Edited by oneofmurphysbiscuits, Oct 10 2017, 03:41 AM.
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redhead
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When I say it's just an award, I mean I don't treat it as some canon of select authors or anything like that. I mean I expect them to make some missteps, compromise choices, etc, and not create a list written in stone of the greatest authors since 1900 (I think any list that attempts such a task is doomed from the outset). The media circus surrounding it is important for literature as a whole, but so long as the writer is good, I don't care if they're obscure or world famous.

Ishiguro is more in that latter category. I've enjoyed a few of his novels, enough so that I'm pleased with his pick. I can see why many would consider him mediocre or dislike him, but I still like his work. I'd rank him above a bunch of the frontrunners this year, anyway. Does he tarnish the Nobel's legacy? I think most people can agree, even if they hate Ishiguro, he doesn't anymore than Russell, Churchill, Fo, Buck, Lewis, Dylan, or the '74 scandal. It would be great if every winner was comparable in quality to Beckett, but as someone who follows the speculation for fun, I feel that's just setting myself up for disappointment.
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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Ishiguro doesn’t tarnish anything, no, red, and neither is the award a monolith or a canon set in stone,(I have always and would continue to oppose any such thinking and i’m strongly supposing that Dave would as well). What’s been squandered is a capacity for ingenuity in thinking, thus it’s the limitations of the Academy we’re annoyed by, not any author in particular :)
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nnyhav
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yep, what biskit said
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redhead
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Ah I see, my mistake. Got no qualms with what you're saying, then
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Bloß ein Língshān
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I do think one feature of this year's laureate is it validates MFA programs, for whatever good that does.
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Didi
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only read one of his books long ago and from memory was reasonably good but not to the standard where I wanted to read more.

as per some others the benefit of speculation are the discoveries during that process (I have also added Edna O’Brien as an author to read as her name has popped up annually here and I am certain based on extracts that I will enjoy her works) and the winner has rarely prompted anything, and I am not planning to read anything further from this year’s winner

I see he has not been active recently apart from Buried Giant and since that exclusively songwriting....
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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Whatever good that does...about covers it
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mandm
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How many Nobel prize winners have you read at least one entire book by per decade ?

Me:

1900: 1
10: 1
20: 4
30: 1
40: 4
50: 3
60: 4
70: 4
80: 4
90: 5
2000: 5
10: 5
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nnyhav
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mandm
Nov 11 2017, 02:42 PM
How many Nobel prize winners have you read at least one entire book by per decade ?
okay, did it for giggles, found overall I've read half the laureates, huh:
1900: 1 / 10: 1 / 20: 4 / 30: 2 / 40: 4 / 50: 4 / 60: 7 / 70: 6 / 80: 8 / 90: 7 / 2000: 7 / 10: 5
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Cleanthes
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Feel a bit silly posting this, but games are often silly:

1901-10: 5 // 11-20: 5 // 21-30: 6 // 31-39: 5 // 44-50: 4 // 51-60: 4 // 61-70: 6 // 71-80: 7 // 81-90: 6 // 91-2000: 3 // 2001-10: 7 // 11-17: 5

The 90s are the less appealing decade to me, laureate-wise.
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mandm
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Well, of course it is silly. And I'll try to avoid become a gamesmaster... the reason I counted really was to see how 'canonical' (cringe) my reading has been. Silly thing in itself, really.

This Guardian article has some mainly predictable suggestions on expanding the canon. Feels like this debate hasn't moved on enough in twenty years or so...

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/nov/11/black-and-minority-ethnic-books-authors-on-decolonising-the-canon-university-english-literature-syllabus
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Funhouse
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Okay, I'll play. I've been making more of an effort with recent winners...

1900: 1
10: 1
20: 3
30: 2
40: 3
50: 2
60: 3
70: 4
80: 3
90: 5
2000: 6
10: 8
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Bjorn
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Hmmm. If I count individual poems (that I distinctly remember) as opposed to full collections, and at least one that I gave up on halfway through a novel.

1900: 3
10: 1
20: 3
30: 0
40: 2
50: 2
60: 1
70: 5
80: 5
90: 3
2000: 6
10: 8

Some really embarrassing holes in my reading, especially during the 30s-60s.
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param
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Here I go.. first half of last century, a lot of reading to do.

1900s : 1
10 : 2
20 : 2
30: 4
40 : 2
50 : 4
60 : 8
70 : 3
80 : 3
90 : 7
00 : 9
10 : 7
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