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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

  1. #1
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    Award Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    I think it's time to start already. In less than two months we''ll have a new winner and it's interesting to check if in his first complete year as a permanent secretary Peter Englund has made any changes towards having a differente winner this year. When I say different winner I mean everyone that has been denied in the last two decades: A poet (though I don't think there are truly important, worldwide recognized figures right now in poetry) a Spanish language writer (Hoping it's not the always mentioned Fuentes and Vargas Llosa) & Asian or African writer representative of a different culture not to commonly explored by the western culture.

    I don't know if the tendency to award young authors will prevail (the generation of the 50's has been a constant in recent years) or if there is still chance for authors born between the 30 and the 50 to get the prize.

    The question about a U.S writer winning the prize will keep on going like every year, but this year, more than any other previous one, I see minimum chances as I see the always quoted Roth, DeLillo and Oates weaker for the public eye than other occasions.

    Time will tell, but by now, let's see what we have in mind at the forum

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Well, Roth continues to publish his "give-me-the-damn-thing-already"-style books and I'm not sure it's an accident that his new one comes out in the autumn, again. Pretty sure the committee has an advance copy already.


    I want a poet to win. Specifically Ashbery, but any poet would be fine.

    I would not be unhappy about Umberto Eco, Carlos Fuentes, Juan Goytisolo, Reinhard Jirgl, Thomas Pynchon, Paul Muldoon, Adam Zagajewski, Christa Wolf, Bei Dao, Ko Un, John Barth or Adonis.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    This is an interesting list from Amazon.com that I came across last year. Overall, a lot of the names are pretty standard.

    http://www.amazon.com/THEY-COULDA-BE...ch_f_1_rsrsrs2

    Even though I'm a huge fan, I'm not sure if Haruki Murakami could ever win. There's something too apolitical about his work. And I can't see the Swedish Academy respecting William T. Vollmann due to the content of a lot of his work.

    Anyway, some others that come to mind:

    Tom Stoppard
    Brian Friel
    Alice Munro
    William Trevor
    Paul Muldoon
    Geoffrey Hill (the current Oxford Professor of Poetry)
    John Banville
    Margaret Atwood
    Peter Carey
    Joan Didion (she hasn't released anything in a while)

    And, just for fun, from W. G. Sebald's Wikipedia page:

    In a 2007 interview, Horace Engdahl, former secretary of the Swedish Academy, mentioned Sebald, Ryszard Kapuściński and Jacques Derrida as three recently deceased writers who would have been worthy laureates.[1]
    Sebald and Kapuscinski would have been great laureates. I find the prospect of Derrida, on the other hand, quite hilarious. I think a lot of people would have revolted!

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Regardless what you think of Derrida's theories (I adore him), his work, as literature, is often stunning. I sometimes read him just to read him.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirabell View Post
    Regardless what you think of Derrida's theories (I adore him), his work, as literature, is often stunning. I sometimes read him just to read him.
    As literature, sure, I wouldn't disagree. I find a lot of continental philosophy rather intriguing to read through the lens of literature. Heidegger's Being and Time and Levinas's Totality and Infinity come to mind. As philosophy, however, Derrida doesn't possess the rigor and analysis that the discipline requires. I agree with the anti-foundationalism of Derrida's overall project, but disagree with the way he carried it out. And stylistically I prefer someone clearer like Richard Rorty, who was a fan of Derrida.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    About time! It's just a pity Stewart didn't start it. It's like the end of a tradition at WLF

    I'm rooting for my usual favorites: Milan Kundera and Philip Roth. Of course they won't win, but does anyone else deserve it more for literary merit alone?

    I think it's time an African writer of Portuguese expression win. Someone like Mia Couto, or Pepetela (you can't get a more political writer than a man who fought in the war of his country's independence). With Saramago recently deceased, we must show the Portuguese is in the hands of a fine generation of writers

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by miobrien View Post
    As philosophy, however, Derrida doesn't possess the rigor and analysis that the discipline requires. I agree with the anti-foundationalism of Derrida's overall project, but disagree with the way he carried it out. And stylistically I prefer someone clearer like Richard Rorty, who was a fan of Derrida.
    He isn't a philosopher primarily. Rorty is. They have similar ideas. Derrida tries to work them out differently. He tries to carry their insights onto the level of the language he himself uses. His writing reflects his thinking.

    As literature, sure, I wouldn't disagree.
    Good thing then it's the Nobel Prize in Literature, yes?

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    United Kingdom Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    always hard to say ,carey,malhouf ,rohinton mistry ,rushdie,ondaatje ,axatga ,makine ,amos oz ,ben okri ,never know who is going to win

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Carey and Ondaatje, yes. ANd ATwood.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirabell View Post
    He isn't a philosopher primarily. Rorty is. They have similar ideas. Derrida tries to work them out differently. He tries to carry their insights onto the level of the language he himself uses. His writing reflects his thinking.
    I've only seen Derrida referenced as a philosopher. And a much more well-known one than Rorty. I'm not sure what you're talking about it.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    I'm still in shock, vigorous shock that you made John Barth one of the candidates you were rooting for...John Barth...John Barth...I mean that's like a million times worse than Pynchon. If I wasn't in the middle of watching something via netflicks I'd go dig out my Gore Vidal book and find what he said of Barth in American Plastic: Matters of Fiction.

    As for me; I listed my dog in this race quite sometime ago: American playwright Edward Albee. He's 82, so he really doesn't have that many opportunities left to win the prize. The fact of the matter was he is the most important American playwright of the last half-century; no one else even comes close. His plays are far superior to Harold Pinter, (a theater of the absurd playwright who won the award for being the most vehemently anti-American European around at the time with a good record of writing to go off of). What's more it would be a way to honor a great American writer for the first time in many years without doing something so mundanely predictable as picking Philip Roth, that great sage of the frustrated, horny middle aged man, or other boring writers like DeLillo, Oates, and writers I intensely dislike, like Pynchon and McCarthy.

    If it couldn't be Albee I'd be at pretty much a loss, being under-read. Certainly not Fuentes, maybe Gore Vidal, (that would be another very interesting, unexpected American to award. Really I'm sort of rooting for Amos Oz to win, even though I've not really read any of his fiction I've found him to be an excellent writer when it comes down to breaking down the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into pragmatic realistic terms, and seeing what's going on with that situation now even, it's a good time to give someone like that a platform, and I do, of course, intend to take a look at his fiction sometime as well.

    Umberto Eco would a neutral choice; I don't have too much opinion on him. Peter Carey too, fairly neutral. Same as Rushdie, though I have to say not only are all those predictable choices, (safe ones too), they're also people who should have plenty of years left with which to get the award, whereas in the case of Vidal or Albee or Kundera, it's getting to where it's now or never.

    Frankly I have a feeling they might finally go with the most politically relevant choice, Amos Oz, since they turned last years award into a little pat on the back for Eastern Europe, choosing to ignore the rest of the world in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    And I personally don't think there are that many great poets around today, certainly none important enough or influential enough to warrant the highest literary distinction of all. Frankly poetry is the one thing I am kind of old fashioned about; I can't stand just about anything written after 1960, (nor the beatniks of the 1950s).

    My poetry reading is pretty much just Dylan Thomas, W.B. Yeats, Robert Frost, Arthur Rimbaud, Emily Dickinson, Gabriela Mistral, Derek Walcott, and W.H. Auden. I've found no other authors worth frequent rereading, or worth buying a whole book worth of their poetry, save maybe for Ranier Rilke, but I haven't made up my mind on him yet. Then again, poetry also isn't really my thing, I'm not a huge fan to begin with so...
    "I am not young enough to know everything" -Oscar Wilde
    "The best way to protect your place in this world is to do nothing at all." -From Ikiru

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by miobrien View Post
    I've only seen Derrida referenced as a philosopher. And a much more well-known one than Rorty. I'm not sure what you're talking about it.

    Well, I learned about him when I studied literature, as a literary critic, or as we call them in Germany, Literaturwissenschaftler (literally 'literature scientist'). I think this is where he's most successful. And the fact that he's so active in this field has contributed to his popularity (and notoriety), hasn't it?

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirabell View Post
    Well, I learned about him when I studied literature, as a literary critic, or as we call them in Germany, Literaturwissenschaftler (literally 'literature scientist'). I think this is where he's most successful. And the fact that he's so active in this field has contributed to his popularity (and notoriety), hasn't it?
    Sure. I guess we're looking at him differently. I'm a graduate student in philosophy; my interest in literature is personal, and I've never taken a literary theory/criticism class. In American philosophy, at least where I go to school, Derrida is very divisive. Like I've said, as a philosopher, I'm not all that thrilled with him. As a more general critic, I'm intrigued by his writing. Can we call this literature? I don't know. Maybe. Is it worthy of the Nobel in Literature? Again, I don't know. I find your view very interesting, and I'm glad I brought this up, as I've wanted to discuss it with someone; I don't know many students who are interested in both philosophy and literature. I will say I liked the direction that Derrida was going in towards the end of his career (e.g., "On Hospitality," "On Cosmopolitanism").
    Last edited by miobrien; 18-Aug-2010 at 03:32.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by waalkwriter View Post
    I can't stand just about anything written after 1960
    Exactly how extensively have you read post-1960s poetry?
    Quote Originally Posted by waalkwriter View Post
    I've found no other authors worth frequent rereading
    Once again, is this based on frequent and extensive reading of all the different poets in existence?

    I think Seamus Heaney is great, but he already has his Nobel. Who else? Imants Ziedonis. Pentti Holappa. Mary Oliver. Cathal O Searcaigh. Tomas Venclova. Paul Muldoon, although he's not for everybody. Maybe Brad Leithauser, although again, he's not for everybody (I only like his "light" verse; check out my thread on Lettered Creatures).

    Contemporary poetry has a lot to offer, you just have to look for it in the right place. And read, read, read, exhaustively. It is only then that you'll encounter a handful of poets who will stay with you.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    I would also add: Geoffrey Hill, James Merrill, W. S. Merwin, and Jack Gilbert.

    Here's Gilbert's "Falling and Flying": Failing and Flying- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    My perennial favorite is Vargas Llosa. It's about time they awarded the Nobel to somebody writing in Spanish and IMHO Vargas Llosa's body of work is comprehensibly the best among living writers in this language.

    I generally favor the Nobel to be given to older writers, those who have a substantial portion of their work behind them. The Nobel should be less a stimulus to young writers than a recognition for their past work. Most of the names mentioned above would indeed be worthy winners. I'd add Tabucchi or Magris from Italy and Pi?on from Brazil.

    But my hunch is that they'll give it to a poet this year, somebody from the Middle East or from Africa.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Mostly Best American Poets Anthologies, etc etc. Like I said, poetry isn't one of my great passions, so I don't pursue it extensively.
    "I am not young enough to know everything" -Oscar Wilde
    "The best way to protect your place in this world is to do nothing at all." -From Ikiru

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    I think the prize should go to a poet this time:

    Jaan Kaplinski (Estonia)

    Amir Or (Israel)

    or

    Pia Tafdrup (Denmark)

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Yet no mention of John Ashberry, or that certain renown Syrian poet who calls by the pen-name Adonis?
    "I am not young enough to know everything" -Oscar Wilde
    "The best way to protect your place in this world is to do nothing at all." -From Ikiru

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by waalkwriter View Post
    Mostly Best American Poets Anthologies, etc etc. Like I said, poetry isn't one of my great passions, so I don't pursue it extensively.

    The best (though not the most comprehensive) of those, by the way, is the McClatchy edited "Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry".

    Also, poetry takes time to appreciate.

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