Didi
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August 13th, 2015, 1:11 am #21

"Trivial" observation:

Combined African & Asian past winners equate with Swedish winners.

Would like to see more winners from these two continents representing 5.5 billion people (Sw less than 10m)

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Thomas Hounds
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August 13th, 2015, 2:30 am #22

And only one Arabic writer has ever won the award is Naguib Mahfouz. The Nobel Prize is really a problematic pile of shit in many ways. Awarding one hit wonders of not-so impressive novels like Golding, while passing up titanic figures of great genius like Graham Greene, never giving the award to an American poet, an over-emphasis on political refugees and on Scandinavian literature, etc etc. Yet it till carries a certain media frenzy and prestige, though arguably I'd like to see another more prominent award created, one judged by a truly international panel of literary figures from around the world.
"Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles
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Didi
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August 13th, 2015, 8:20 am #23

an outsider chance for the prize: Mexican (Fr born) Elena Poniatowska (won Cervantes prize due to her "brilliant literary trajectory in diverse genera, her special style in narrative and her exemplary dedication to journalism, her outstanding work and her firm commitment to contemporary history.").
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Didi
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August 13th, 2015, 8:55 am #24

some African outsiders: Ben Okri popular in the past and less talked about in recent years within this context. Pepetela, Heteronym has raised this in the past and not to be completely discounted. Less chance for someone like Stockenström I think.
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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August 13th, 2015, 8:57 am #25

Golding wasn't awarded the prize for the one book, Jake. The prize is problematic, Golding plus work likewise, but he didn't win for the one book.

(sent from tablet, so to brevity)
I only think, if that is the name for this vertiginous panic as of hornets smoked out of their nests, once a certain degree of terror has been exceeded
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Thomas Hounds
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August 13th, 2015, 11:37 am #26

oneofmurphysbiscuits wrote:Golding wasn't awarded the prize for the one book, Jake. The prize is problematic, Golding plus work likewise, but he didn't win for the one book.

(sent from tablet, so to brevity)
Golding primarily won for one book, Lord of the Flies. Maybe to a lesser degree for the attention from To the Ends of the Earth. But I mean, there's no debating that Golding wasn't a controversial choice even at the time. And I truly dislike Lord of the Flies, but admit I haven't read any of his other fiction and that perhaps I should read a book two out of it. As I always though I'm really interested in your opinion. If and win you have time to give I'm interested to hear more.

I think the most problematic thing about the Prize is that it hasn't really changed. The Nobel Prize Committee for Literature is about the slowest changing and probably one of the most out of touch organizations in the literary world, which is what makes me think they could just give the award to Pynchon, who, regardless what you think of his core output, has produced mixed at best work since 1973's controversial Gravity's Rainbow (which Gore Vidal called, in 1974, "the perfect novel to teach" and correctly predicted that generations of American literature MAs and MFAs would be deconstructing and attempting to mimic it), maybe giving Against the Day a pass. I'm returning to my old partisanship here in some ways, but it seems just like the committee to give the award to a writer whose influence is enormous but is now at an age and a distance from his key work that he's in some ways anachronistic to contemporary America (see Against the Day, Mason Dixon, Inherent Vice, which are all set either in America's distant past, or in 1970). But I can't deny I would like to see an American novelist awarded, and certainly don't deny Pynchon's brilliance at what he does, regardless of whether I have in the past found that to jive with my ideals about the novel as a literary form. Better Pynchon than the incredibly dull and self-absorbed Phillip Roth and of course Cormac McCarthy who I have long had strong opinions on. In a way, Thomas Pynchon, Edward Albee (who I don't even know if he's been nominated or up for consideration at all, hard to believe with his 4 Pulitzer prizes, multiple Tony's, and 5 decades of influential and active writing of quirky and subversive plays), and John Ashberry who I think is generally at least up for consideration, are the only really strong American candidates for the award, in my opinion.

I'm also usually intrigued by Ko Un, especially since there has never been a Korean winner of the Nobel despite South Korea's fairly vibrant literary scene and deep literary culture. His poetry is interesting, though I don't admire it as much as Ashberry or Adonis or Shuntaro Tanikawa (Japan's greatest living poet). But again, the Nobel Prize committee has not improved in terms of recognizing non-European languages spoken and read by billions of people. In the last 21 years 13 awards have gone to European writers, 5 to American or South American writers of European descent writing in European languages and just 3 to non-Europeans, Mo Yan, Kenzaburo Oe, and Gao Xinjian, despite the Committees ambition to be a more open and global award, and to connect to the driving issues of the day as well as internationalism.
"Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles
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oneofmurphysbiscuits
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August 13th, 2015, 12:10 pm #27

read the academy blurb even if you can't be arsed to read anything besides the most well known :)
That apart i don't really care about who wins what or get excited about :)
I only think, if that is the name for this vertiginous panic as of hornets smoked out of their nests, once a certain degree of terror has been exceeded
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byrd
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August 13th, 2015, 12:15 pm #28

Thomas Hounds wrote:Pynchon, who, regardless what you think of his core output, has produced mixed at best work since 1973's controversial Gravity's Rainbow [...], maybe giving Against the Day a pass.
Awww...Mason & Dixon and Against the Day are definitely way better than mixed at best!

But that's just, like, your opinion, man. :)

I don't mind who wins this year, as long as it's Pynchon.
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Funhouse
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August 13th, 2015, 12:45 pm #29

Yeah, Golding was hardly a one hit wonder. And I think given the nature of the prize it's pointless to complain about people who miss out. We could easily come up with a list of 50 or more worthy recipients for this year's prize yet the majority of them will never get it because they will die before their turn comes up. It's always been that way...
?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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sub-pet
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August 13th, 2015, 12:57 pm #30

i wish people would stop using the term 'worthy' (w/r/t to prizes but also just in general)
Light passion-bent past roadblocks it has itself devised: yes, in the fine void of our possible intelligence that announces owl-like one weighty day that we didn't know what light was but we'd been promised a power and thought it might be to find out that on good days we were light or got to be.
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