Nobel Prize 2014

nnyhav
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nnyhav
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September 4th, 2014, 4:26 am #1

Maintaining our annual tradition of boundless groundless speculation ...
MAO summarizes the current state of play (scrolldown, direct link unstable) (a la Magnus Puke?), lotsa links (of which I'll lift http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/s ... ature-2014 esp since http://archipelagobooks.org/honoring-ng ... sary-gala/ ...I'm thinking him & Assia Djebar the best bets both at 10/1) (also, otherforum speculation is up around 200 posts ...)

My sentimental favorites? Cartarescu & Pynchon both at 25/1 (Krasznahorkai not listed)

(had to edit link)
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Didi
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September 4th, 2014, 5:10 am #2

Ali Ahmad Said Asbar (Adonis) would be my guess, speculating on what the academy may be thinking,
Yet I hope it’s an author/poet from the Netherlands that finally get this prize..wait, I said this about the world cup as well…
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Bjorn
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September 4th, 2014, 7:56 am #3

I read Djebar (Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade) for the first time this summer, and while I liked the book, I'm not sure I thought it Nobel-worthy. Of course that's just one book, and semi-autobiographical to boot, so it may not be entirely representative - has anyone read anything else of hers?

But my list, like Ladbrokes', remains roughly the same as last year, according to the principle of a broken clock being right once a day:
- Ngugi
- Alexievich
- Pynchon (it seems unlikely with two North Americans in a row, but I just bet myself 20 bucks that he'll win, so his chances just increased tenfold)

For those who think such things matter, Krasznahorkai is finally being published in Swedish this year (right in time for the Nobel announcement, too) and Ngugi is having something of a renaissance with new editions of The River Between, A Grain of Wheat and Devil on the Cross. Cartarescu got a pretty big push last year, being guest of honour at the Gothenburg book fair and all, which theoretically could raise his chances.
I did not get into rock'n'roll to play rock'n'roll! (Blixa Bargeld)
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byrd
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September 4th, 2014, 9:23 am #4

If Bleeding Edge had been a masterwork and really addressed the implications of the dark web (BBC2 had a documentary on it last night, so Pynchon could have been the sage ahead of the curve), then i'd say Pynchon should get it.

But BE wasn't a masterwork, so he won't.

Having said that, now he will get it.

But having said that, now he won't...

etc...
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Funhouse
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September 4th, 2014, 12:43 pm #5

Well, A Million Windows is fresh in my mind so I'll mention Gerald Murnane as usual. He peaked in the Ladbrokes odds about four or five years ago, but he's been on quite a tear since Barley Patch (and he apparently has two more books finished that Giramondo, his publisher, are sitting on to space them out more), and I think his stock is as high as it has ever been. He's been fairly widely translated into Swedish and apparently has a following there, so if there were to be the first Australian since Patrick White in 1973 receive it he would have to be the lead candidate. He's also getting on in years. The most likely after Murnane would be David Malouf (also a venerable age) I'd say.

Here's a left field suggestion that I've never seen come up before: what do people think about Art Spiegelman? Graphic novelists never seem to get mentioned in the mix of novelists/playwrights/poets, but if one were to get the nod it would have to be Spiegelman wouldn't it?

Murakami has also been prolific lately and he's been at the top of the odds for a few years. That doesn't mean he's at the top of the Academy's list, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if he got it.

Salman Rushdie hasn't knocked one out of the park for a while and Joseph Anton got pretty bad reviews, but I could also see him getting it at some point. Maybe not this year. (He's also fresh in my mind after seeing him speak last week.)
?He wishes he had never entered the funhouse. But he has. Then he wishes he were dead. But he's not. Therefore he will construct funhouses for others and be their secret operator--though he would rather be among the lovers for whom funhouses are designed.?
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Elie
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September 4th, 2014, 1:38 pm #6

Funhouse wrote:Here's a left field suggestion that I've never seen come up before: what do people think about Art Spiegelman? Graphic novelists never seem to get mentioned in the mix of novelists/playwrights/poets, but if one were to get the nod it would have to be Spiegelman wouldn't it?
I'd not thought about graphic novelists before having only got into them recently. I've not read Art Spiegelman (yet) but do you think Joe Sacco would be worth a shout?
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Bjorn
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September 4th, 2014, 1:39 pm #7

Funhouse wrote:Here's a left field suggestion that I've never seen come up before: what do people think about Art Spiegelman? Graphic novelists never seem to get mentioned in the mix of novelists/playwrights/poets, but if one were to get the nod it would have to be Spiegelman wouldn't it?
That's a fun idea. I'm not sure if the older members of the Academy would even consider him, but he's certainly closer to "established" literature than, say, Dylan, and I agree that he's one of very few graphic novelists who could qualify. (I honestly can't come up with anyone else. Satrapi?) I wonder if it'd hurt his chances that the vast majority of readers think he only ever wrote Maus?

My own growing dissatisfaction with Murakami aside, IMO by now he falls into the category of writers who don't need the Nobel, along with Roth, Oates and that lot. Giving it to them is a no-win situation for the Academy since it'll just look like caving to pressure, plus they're already widely read and arguably more well-known for not getting the prize. They hardly need the cash, either. (That said, there are certainly worse choices on the "Why can't they ever give it to someone I've heard of" list. I know for a fact that there are journalists in Sweden who are sure that Coelho has already got it.)

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...

Speaking of Alexievich, though, I just got my hands on the brand-spanking new Swedish translation of Zinky Boys. If she does get it, her Swedish publisher probably deserves a cut - does anyone know if her books are getting republished in English at all? I know several of them have been published at some point, but Voices From Chernobyl seems to be the only that's been in print this millennium?
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Funhouse
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September 4th, 2014, 2:39 pm #8

If we're talking graphic novels I'd say that Spiegelman is head and shoulders above any other candidate. I like Sacco's work a lot, but I don't think it has the literary qualities for the Nobel. Satrapi's done some nice stuff, but overall she's too lightweight. Someone like Alan Moore, perhaps, has the breadth of work, but I can't see them considering anyone who has done a lot of work for mainstream comics and too much of his work is pastiche. The same applies to Grant Morrison/Frank Miller/Neil Gaiman (Gaiman also has his novels, of course, but again they're too lightweight).
?He wishes he had never entered the funhouse. But he has. Then he wishes he were dead. But he's not. Therefore he will construct funhouses for others and be their secret operator--though he would rather be among the lovers for whom funhouses are designed.?
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Elie
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September 4th, 2014, 3:44 pm #9

I'd better get him read soon, then. We've got Maus so I have no real excuse.
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orlando
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September 4th, 2014, 7:24 pm #10

I wonder if the state of the world at present will have any role to play.


Thy thee that starts, Is, already.
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