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