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Nobel Prize in Literature

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Cameron, if you say Don Winslow or any other crime author, I'm gonna knock you out of your wheelchair.

Now that's out of the way, it sounds like it's coming down to Murakami, McCarthy, Ngugi wa Thiong, who I've never heard of, and, just like every year, people are hoping Phillip Roth pulls an upset. I love McCarthy, but Roth deserves it first.
post #2 of 31
Yeah, Roth would be a fine choice. Certainly better than any number the Academy has chosen in the past decade or so. I doubt they've gotten over their anti-American snit-fit but hopefully they won't feel compelled to choose someone from a death squad again.
post #3 of 31
McCarthy and Roth are awesome choices. Saramago was the last one I really cared. And I couldn't stand his late work.
post #4 of 31
Roth absolutely deserves this. I agree, much as I love McCarthy, this belongs to Roth.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
The ongoing theory besides the anti-American sentiment is that Roth's body of work is far too dark for an award that's meant to celebrate optimism.
post #6 of 31
I've always been under the impression that it was far too politically incorrect by the standards of judges these days.

Whatever the case, he deserves this for Sabbath's Theater alone.
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RathBandu View Post
The ongoing theory besides the anti-American sentiment is that Roth's body of work is far too dark for an award that's meant to celebrate optimism.
McCarthy has no chance either. You know...Blood Meridian .
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RathBandu View Post
The ongoing theory besides the anti-American sentiment is that Roth's body of work is far too dark for an award that's meant to celebrate optimism.
McCarthy's isn't??
Jesus, these people are weird.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
My very basic grade school read of the tea leaves is that McCarthy enjoys a tad more international support and praise than Roth.
post #10 of 31
Really? I guess I could see that in terms of popularity but one of the strongest arguments in favor of Roth getting the Nobel was the work he did in the eighties getting censored Eastern European authors notice, especially from Czechozlavakia. He's also written quite a bit about the Middle East, whereas McCarthy's work is pretty much as American as you can get (though they do spend a lot of time on/in Mexico, so there's that).
post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
Also, this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008...nobelprize.usa

Apparently perennial nominee and my homegirl Joyce Carol Oates is also a contendah in a big way. I got no problem with that.
post #12 of 31
I'm gonna be That Guy and say that I for one am thankful whenever the academy chooses some obscure dude I've never heard of from a random small country. I'm not gonna say that there isn't anti-americanism attached to the Nobel prize, but I think a bigger, more important part of it is that, y'know, literature is something that's done across the globe, and with much less of a focal point than, say, cinema (where, like it or not, such a gigantic percentage of the tradition and production belongs to America that you can't really not acknowledge it.) I mean, people assume it's tokenism or political correctness, but at the end of the day is anyone really gonna argue that a writer in Turkey or Vietnam or wherever is less capable of producing "outstanding work of an idealistic tendency" than a U.S. or english or french author?

Also, do universally acclaimed, best selling, rich dudes like Roth and McCarthy really need a Nobel? Neither one of them is particuarly lacking in the awards department, and both have their reputations solidified way beyond any honour that the award might bestow. What's the point of giving it to one of those two, besides stating something everyone already knows is true? Between that and honouring some dude with a lifetime's worth of awesome reading that barely anyone's heard about *, I'm way more interested in the second option.


* And I'm not saying all, or even most, recent Nobel laureates fulfill this criterion - but it's one thing to argue against specific choices and another to oppose them on principle.
post #13 of 31
Can't really see much optimistic about Pinter, Coetzee, Grass or Saramago (nor much "politically correct" about them either, unless that just means leftist.)
post #14 of 31
For the life of me, I will never understand why Joyce Carol Oates is always a contender for this. I mean, Joyce Carol Oates??

However, if anyone has any recommendations for something that is awesome by her, I'll give it another shot.
post #15 of 31
Also, please God not Pynchon.
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mezz View Post
For the life of me, I will never understand why Joyce Carol Oates is always a contender for this. I mean, Joyce Carol Oates??

However, if anyone has any recommendations for something that is awesome by her, I'll give it another shot.
I will FIGHT YOU.

"We Were The Mulvaneys" and "Rape: A Love Story" are both astonishing. She's also a marvelous short story writer.

Quote:
What's the point of giving it to one of those two, besides stating something everyone already knows is true?
You could totally make this argument for Murakami (in the case of this year's candidates) or Grass or Pinter or any number of people who have a Nobel.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RathBandu View Post
You could totally make this argument for Murakami (in the case of this year's candidates) or Grass or Pinter or any number of people who have a Nobel.
Yeah, you could! I don't necessairly get angry over those guys winning - I wouldn't if Roth did, either - but I've never understood this notion that it has to be them.
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
It doesn't have to be, but I think there's an argument to be made that if any American author deserves it, it's Roth.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RathBandu View Post
The judge quoted in that article says what I was sort of thinking - Roth, Updike, et al. don't speak to Europeans the same way they do to Americans. I don't think it's insularity so much as being really specific to the culture in which they work. McCarthy probably has more appeal because of his revisionist take on America, and because Europeans respond to the myth of the American West, as opposed to the neuroses of the suburban upper middle class.

My money is on Ngugi wa Thiong'o or Murakami. Last year's winner really reeked of politics, and you still can't find any of Herta Muller's books in English. Here's hoping we can actually read something of Ngugi's, since he apparently gave up writing in English, and writes in Kikuyu.
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RathBandu View Post
It doesn't have to be, but I think there's an argument to be made that if any American author deserves it, it's Roth.
Roth, Pynchon, McCarthy.
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RathBandu View Post
It doesn't have to be, but I think there's an argument to be made that if any American author deserves it, it's Roth.
Yeah, this is pretty much where I'm coming from. I don't think it's an injustice or anything, just that it's probably going to be one of those head-slapping things down the line, when you recognize that Roth, who the case could be made (and has), is the strongest novelist in American history, doesn't have one, much in the same way it's the case with Nabakov, or Hitchcock or Kubrick with the Oscar.

Quote:
Can't really see much optimistic about Pinter, Coetzee, Grass or Saramago (nor much "politically correct" about them either, unless that just means leftist.)
I'm not read up on these guys (though I should be), but I've never really seen or heard the misogyny accusation leveled at them, whereas Roth always gets tagged with it. It's bullshit, but it's there.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RathBandu View Post
I remember reading that a few years ago. It's bullshit, especially considering Roth was very involved in the "big dialogue of literature" on a global level.
post #23 of 31
So, it's Mario Vargas Llosa. Not exactly an obscure choice, though I'll fess up to never having read anything by him. At least his books show up in gas stations less than Murakami's (nb I love Murakami.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z.Vasquez View Post
I'm not read up on these guys (though I should be), but I've never really seen or heard the misogyny accusation leveled at them, whereas Roth always gets tagged with it. It's bullshit, but it's there.
I think misogyny charges get levelled at Pinter way more than they do at Roth.
post #24 of 31
post #25 of 31
Apparently groundbreaking in this decision is that he's the frist winner to have punched another winner - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - in the face! Unfamiliar with the man's work as I am, and was pulling for others, that's pretty cool.
post #26 of 31
Holy shit I need a source or link for that. Best thing ever if true!
post #27 of 31
post #28 of 31
Thanks.

I just finished "The Humbling" yesterday, and it just made me more mad that Roth was looked over again. Not to turn this into the Current Reading thread, but that book is so full of power that it's kind of hard to describe.
post #29 of 31
I agree, and honestly I think that's one of his lesser works. I'm about to start American PAstoral and go through his "America" trilogy. so I'm psyched for that. Also looking forward to his new one that just dropped, Nemesis.
post #30 of 31
I love Roth, but Llosa's win was well-deserved. He wrote an appreciation for Madame Bovary I read last year called The Perpetual Orgy. It so beautifully described what reading good literature does, how it can change you, even imperceptibly. Roth does deserve a Nobel, but Llosa is a solid choice.
post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by bendrix View Post
I love Roth, but Llosa's win was well-deserved. He wrote an appreciation for Madame Bovary I read last year called The Perpetual Orgy. It so beautifully described what reading good literature does, how it can change you, even imperceptibly. Roth does deserve a Nobel, but Llosa is a solid choice.
I'll have to read that, as Madame Bovary is one of my favorite novels. I don't think anyone's complaining about him getting it though, least not that I've heard.

Except Maybe G.G. Marquez.
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