mandm
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8:31 PM - Oct 05, 2017 #111

I can only agree that they could have done worse, but were far from challenging in their choice. My favourite is Remains, though I've only read three of his in all. It's been over two years snince anyone said anything about him on these threads, and we are the real arbiters of taste, so...

Haven't read The Unconsoled. Probably should, I spose. But I might wait a bit first.
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Bjorn
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8:46 PM - Oct 05, 2017 #112

Via Orthofer:

What Happened to the Nobel Prize in Literature?
wrote:Given its pedigree, the Nobel Prize doesn’t have to keep sponsors happy, which means it doesn’t necessarily face this kind of pressure. And yet it’s also shifted its identify over the last three years, embracing a kind of populism. Obscurity is no longer a virtue, and all literary forms are welcome. But that change has also come at a cost. Despite being dismayingly Eurocentric—a black African writer has not won since 1987, for instance—the Nobel was the premier way for difficult and strange writing of high quality to get a wider audience. With the Nobel edging toward the likes of Dylan and Ishiguro, this is a loss for global literature.
Of course, there's always the problem that with only ONE winner per year and no public short list, we're inevitably drawing conclusions about trends based on a very small sample. Would the "what happened to the Nobel Prize" discussion look much the same if they'd chosen an obscure writer this year and Ishiguro in 2018? Would Dylan look as weird if we'd known who he beat out? (Well, yeah.)
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Uemarasan
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8:59 PM - Oct 05, 2017 #113

mandm wrote:...and we are the real arbiters of taste, so...
...? Being facetious? ;)

I am in disagreement with MAO there. I don't mind an established laureate. The Nobel Prize can be for everyone and not just those who read a lot of literature. They should award any author they deem worthy regardless of popularity or obscurity, ease or difficulty. The work above all else. Personally, I do enjoy Ishiguro even though he's not a favorite and isn't really to my taste. I think a convincing case can be made for his distinction as a very good writer, even a great one.

I'm actually glad that they're looking at popular candidates alongside more unfamiliar ones. It sends a message that they are committed to literary quality first and foremost. For those who want only obscure, previously unknown, or unheralded authors, I don't believe the Nobel Prize should serve that function.

MAO disappoints more and more as the years go by... Just my opinion.
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Bjorn
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9:18 PM - Oct 05, 2017 #114

To be clear, Orthofer didn't write that article, just linked to it.
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mandm
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9:18 PM - Oct 05, 2017 #115

Uemarasan wrote:
mandm wrote:...and we are the real arbiters of taste, so...
...? Being facetious? ;)

I am in disagreement with MAO there. I don't mind an established laureate. The Nobel Prize can be for everyone and not just those who read a lot of literature. They should award any author they deem worthy regardless of popularity or obscurity, ease or difficulty. The work above all else. Personally, I do enjoy Ishiguro even though he's not a favorite and isn't really to my taste. I think a convincing case can be made for his distinction as a very good writer, even a great one.

I'm actually glad that they're looking at popular candidates alongside more unfamiliar ones. It sends a message that they are committed to literary quality first and foremost. For those who want only obscure, previously unknown, or unheralded authors, I don't believe the Nobel Prize should serve that function.

MAO disappoints more and more as the years go by... Just my opinion.
Sure, of course.

I like to discover authors I don't yet know, so it's a little disappointing to see Dylan then Ishiguro winning. Beside which, it's only been ten years since a British writer won. Is that justified?
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Joined: 5:03 PM - Jul 05, 2015

1:47 AM - Oct 06, 2017 #116

I wonder if it's due to him being around for decades and a big-name author, but I checked my university library, and only the three copies of The Remains of the Day have been checked out. All of his other books are available! Surprised Danius' mention of The Buried Giant did nothing.
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redhead
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2:31 PM - Oct 07, 2017 #117

I remember for Alice Munro, it was the same for my public library at first, but after a few months, when all the local book clubs had put her on their lists, it was difficult to find anything by her.
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Cleanthes
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1:38 AM - Oct 08, 2017 #118

Fame is transient, even for Nobel Prize winners.

For example, remember Jose Echegaray, who was greatly admired by George Bernard Shaw and Luigi Pirandello, who like them won the Nobel Prize in literature (in 1904, let me point out that from the whole set of great writers from the whole world living around the time, Tolstoy, Henry James, Mark Twain, etc. he was the FOURTH one to win it); according to Wikipedia, he was president of the most prestigious literary association of Spain, the Ateneo de Madrid (1888); President of the Asociación de Escritores y Artistas Españoles, member of the Spanish Language Association, the "Real Academia Española" between 1894 and 1916; Senator-For-Life (1900) and twice president of the Spanish Sciences Association, the Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (1894–1896 y 1901–1916); he was the first President of the Spanish Chemistry and Physics Society, the 'Sociedad Española de Física y Química', the first president of the Spanish Mathematical Association, the Sociedad Matemática Española(1911), candidate for the Nobel Prize in Physics, and, in 1907, upon a request from Nobel Prize Winner Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the Spanish Sciences Academy created the Jose Echegaray Prize for lifelong outstanding contribution to the sciences, and it was awarded first... to Jose Echegaray himself. Echegaray dominated Spanish drama for a quarter century like no one else had dominated it since Calderon and Lope, he was widely translated and won other prizes lesser than the Nobel. Streets were named after him, Governments consulted with him in matters, cultural, scientific and economic.

And yet, who the heck is Jose Echegaray? Who remembers him today?
Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent.
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Joined: 5:03 PM - Jul 05, 2015

4:46 PM - Oct 08, 2017 #119

But see, I like that time-capsule effect of the prize because, as we all know, authors are unjustly neglected. You make me want to run out and purchase what I can find of Jose Echegaray. If he was admired by Shaw and Pirandello, basically ruled the Spanish cultural scene, got the prize... who cares if he's known or unknown? Always time for (re)discovery!

Do you like him? And thanks for the post, Cleanthes.
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Heteronym
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9:50 AM - Oct 09, 2017 #120

Kauzo Ishiguro: "I come in the line of lots of my greatest heroes. Absolutely great authors. The greatest authors in history have received this prize."

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy ... story.html

Remember, children, next time your career depends on you being a spineless coward, ask yourself, "How low can I sink?" And then try to surpass the 2017 Nobel Laureate. Everything will turn out just fine.
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