param
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September 5th, 2014, 3:11 pm #21

Cleanthes wrote: 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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September 5th, 2014, 3:14 pm #22

Bjorn wrote: 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/
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Bjorn
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September 5th, 2014, 3:31 pm #23

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.
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miercuri
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September 5th, 2014, 6:05 pm #24

Bjorn wrote:
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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September 5th, 2014, 7:53 pm #25

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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September 5th, 2014, 11:40 pm #26

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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September 6th, 2014, 10:33 am #27

Didi wrote: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.
wrote: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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September 6th, 2014, 11:43 am #28

Bjorn wrote:
Didi wrote: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.
wrote: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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September 6th, 2014, 9:29 pm #29

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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September 8th, 2014, 6:18 am #30

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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