Well, yes Eric, is that time of the year again, and as our friend Apfelwurm already requested it and I'm sure many of you were thinking about it (I'm sure even Eric enjoys this type of literary gossip) here's the new speculation thread for Nobel 2011.
To start with, here are some of the lines I started the thread a year ago:
The debt with Spanish language has been settled down, so I don't think we're going to see a Spanish writing author in a few years.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.
So, what we have left:
1. POETS/(15 years) year after year we all hope to get a new poet laureate and every year we see it falling down in front of our eyes. It is obvious that a poet deserves to be back at the top of the Swedish literary world, but who? As I said the previous years, I'm sure there are great poets all around the globe, but I don't see a clear figure that can represent poetry in its origins and be a universal image of what poetry is about.
2. USA writers/(18 years) I think it's their year. Or not? Well, all the international prizes given this year have been granted to English speaking writers (not necessarily Americans) so tendencies can be giving us a clue on what may happen in early October. There are a few UK laureates lately so it can be the US and Australia the countries that are on my mind. Or what about the Irish, with no representantion after Seamus Heany won it back in 1995. I'd still go to US, I think they're finally getting it. Who? Well here is a lot to discuss.
3. Africa & Far-off Asia/ There is an enormous amount of talents in Africa, most of them writing in accesible languages for the Swedes (English, French, Portuguese), so why not recognize them after 25 years that Soyinka won the award?
South Korea, Japan and China have also a great potential. It would be interesting to have the first truly Chinese winner or the first ever Korean writer. Japan of course has a lot of potential, but I don't think Murakami, who is the obvious choice will get it this year.
4. "Obscure" writers/ After Vargas Llosa winning it last year, I don't think they're going to go with a worldwide well known and recognized name for a second year in a row. I just don't see it happening. It'd surprise me and many people, but I think that the big names that have been floating around the award for some years will have to wait for some time: Roth, Murakami, De Lillo, Carol Oates, of course Fuentes.
So who could be "obscure" enough but at the same time important to get in the hands of those old Swedes and capture their antention? Probably an Estonian writer, and then Eric would go nuts.
Well, after those lines, let's kick off the discussion as we know how to do it in here!