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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

  1. #201
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by adaorardor View Post
    Well no worries then, I'm not too interested in discussing the politics either. And I'm not excusing Handke, I'm just saying that we've seen crazy geniuses who've supported abhorrent leaders before - Celine, Pound...and that's no reason to dismiss their literary work because of that.
    Yes, I agree. Well it depends, if the work itself is unaffected by their confused opinions, yes. On the other hand there are always limits, right? Especially when it comes to awards with worlwide visibility one SHOULD take such things into account, imo. I mean those people will serve as intellectual role models for the rest of the world and will be read by many people. So this "ideal" caveat of Nobel's will makes sense somehow... The author could be the greatest poet of all time, but if he only wrote about murdering, torturing or discriminating other people/races/sexes/etc then his works should at least not get any awards, right? Imagine some maniac would take one of those confused treatises of some fascist nutjob and rewrite it as an epic poem of highest literary sophistication. Should he get an award for this? Certainly not, even though it could be fun to read
    Last edited by Rumpelstilzchen; 08-Aug-2011 at 23:54.

  2. #202
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by adaorardor View Post
    Hey, I'm just having fun here. They are NOT my wishes, I would make some different choices and considering the practical aspects of the whole thing I'd frankly wish for more authors who haven't been translated as widely. And considering how I've called them my GUESSES, of course they're speculative, genius. If you have a problem with speculating on this subject why are you in this thread?? Although I might add that not all guesses are EQUALLY speculative -- for instance, the idea that Salman Rushdie has a better chance of winning the prize than any of the English-language authors I listed is ridiculous. One of the most famous authors in the world so in no need of wider readership, highly controversial politically, turned into a socialite who only writes really shitty books at the age of 50 a decade and a half ago...I would be flabbergasted. And Tournier, by the way, is 86 years old, I have to think the choice of Le Clezio was a signal that he's out of the running. I don't even know who Tizon is but maybe you can explain why he stands a better chance than, say, Javier Marias or Carlos Fuentes? (Tell me if I'm wrong, wasn't Laiseca hosting some kind of "horror stories" tv show? Maybe I misremember.)
    There's nothing wrong with speculation and, please, don't take it personal. After all, you asked for opinions. I do point out, however, that some of your rationale is inconsistent and not in agreement with recent past Nobel nods. You are ruling off old writers and yet Lessing was almost 88 when she got it. You mention that Rushdie won't get it on grounds that he doesn't need a wider readership than he already has. So what about Vargas Llosa, one of the all-time best-selling authors in the Spanish language? I am not aware of Laiseca's TV show. He is a cult writer, reveered my most other writers, who does not by any means write genre literature. Unfortunatelly, his books have had a very poor publishing history and most are out of print. Héctor Tizón is considered one of the most respected Argentine writers, who has published many novels and short story collections but who has not been translated much. He is a wonderful stylist, combining symbolism with a dose of minimalism but with a regional flavor. He was born in desertic Yalta, Jujuy, a town bordering with Bolivia. He trained as a lawyer and became a judge; then he worked as a diplomat and eventaully was forced into exile by the 1976 coup. He is 81 now and I believe he is retired and living in his province of Jujuy. I'll try to give you more information about Tizón, but for the time being I link you to his German wiki page.

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A9ctor_Tiz%C3%B3n

    Quote Originally Posted by adaorardor View Post
    ......but if you were as far right as the Republican Party in the US I'd think you'd have almost no shot. Vargas Llosa, for instance, is described as one of the most conservative laureates politically and he is not as far right as a US-style Republican.
    Now, this is total and ridiculous BS. You have no idea what far right means. It's as if I would want to lable US Democrats as being far left. Please try to be serious or we'll think you are as childish as waaklwriter.

  3. #203

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by adaorardor View Post
    ...and that's no reason to dismiss their literary work because of that.
    I disagree. Personally, I like my writers to have *some* morals...

  4. #204
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Elie View Post
    Personally, I like my writers to have *some* morals...
    Yes, but why should their morals and your morals be the same? For example: I myself have no trouble believing that life starts at conception which, ipso facto, makes abortion an act of murder; now this would have some feminists out there absolutely LIVID and calling for my head on a silver platter. Obviously a conflict of morals here.

    Should I therefore disparage a feminist's work if I happen to be a literary judge? Should she consequently disparage mine if our places are switched? (Provided that the "work" in question is not partisan in nature, of course). See, I would have a real problem with that. If a given writer is worthy of an award based on literary merit alone, then give it to them, no matter what their political/religious convictions or the lack thereof are.

  5. #205
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by adaorardor View Post
    That said, I think the major candidates to actually win, among living writers, are or should be:

    French-language writers:
    Poets- Either Jaccottet or Bonnefoy, both really major figures and really deserving and really old. (Btw anyone think Jaccottet's influenced Handke's prose of the last few decades? I read some theory about this a while ago.)
    Prose writers- None will win. Guyotat too avant-garde. Pierre Michon's output maybe too small. Houellebecq too controversial. Volodine probably carries too much "genre baggage," not even previous awards for the Committee. Maybe Pascal Quignard gets a look one day. Actually, there are two with a shot right now: Assia Djebar and Aamin Malouf. Haven't read either, though.
    Non-fiction/other- Cixous would be a great choice. Wonder if they'd consider Rene Girard?
    Among the French born authors what do you think of Jean Echenoz? He's 63, a good age for winning it and he's well known internationally. He has a few novels that could make him a solid contender. For writers also writing in French there is the option of Andrei Makine, Russian but writing in French. He has some hardcore fans like our friend Thomas who doesn't post in the forum anymore, but being French he said that the best French writers nowadays were not French: Maalouf and Makine. That could be truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by adaorardor View Post
    English-language writers:
    Poets-Ashbery and Hill are the leading contenders. Hill is a living classic and Ashbery would be a "non-political" way of giving it to an American. Kamau Brathwaite would not be a non-political choice but has a shot. Paul Muldoon has a shot and would be deserving for his earlier output although the last few books weren't as great. I have a soft spot for (85-year-old) Christopher Logue but he has no shot.
    Prose writers- There are of course the four elephants in the room, Pynchon, Roth, McCarthy, and DeLillo. I have to think they'd have given it to Roth or DeLillo already if they wanted to, while Cormac perhaps carries too much pop culture baggage after the movies of his disappointing recent books and Pynchon is too avant-garde, plus he'd either no-show or mock the prize.
    From the UK: Hollinghurst hasn't written enough yet (new book just his 5th). Banville would be a great choice, genius stylist and many great books.
    Others...Chinua Achebe? but I think Thiongo or Nuruddin Farah will get it instead, either now or soon (Ayi Kwei Armah's output perhaps too low? The African writer I'd have most like to see honored died too young- Christopher Okigbo).
    Non-fiction/other- None will win, but John Berger would be an intriguing choice- you guys find him deserving? Stoppard is a very good playwright but sort of a lightweight compared to the true greats like Beckett and Pinter and Genet. Zizek would give a fun Lecture but too lightweight. Maybe Judith Butler one day??
    What about the Australians. Probably they are not that internationally known as the American or English writers, but they are a few and they have a good shot. I mean, Patrick White was a long long time ago. So there is Les Murray, Gerald Murnane (whose name apperead suddenly in the last day of bets last year whe he wansn't even initially listed) & Peter Caray. Canadá is a country with no winners, so apart from the already mentioned Atwood and Munro, let's not forget Ondaatje.

    Quote Originally Posted by adaorardor View Post
    Spanish-language:
    Poets- Several possibilities but I doubt any ever get it. IMO the leading contender is Clara Janes. Others- Juan Gelman, Antonio Gamoneda, Jose Emilio Pacheco, Rosenmann-Taub. Ernesto Cardenal perhaps? Parra probably too avant-garde.
    Prose-Not this year, but there must be more to come for such a distinguished group, right? Javier Marias is a living classic and still relatively young. Daniel Sada is still young. Goytisolo getting old, maybe too avant-garde stylistically. Fuentes probably missed out when they chose MVL, but hey, they gave it to Gordimer and then Coetzee. Del Paso would be a great choice but his output is sort of low. Laiseca too much "genre baggage"? Mutis and Marse getting old, no shot. I think Munoz Molina could have a shot in the future but wouldn't be a great choice. The intriguing choice here would be the Catalan writer Miquel de Palol.
    Non-fiction/other- Not this year but Eduardo Galeano has a great shot in my opinion (personally I wouldn't pick him but he'd be deserving). Arrabal perhaps, but I seriously doubt they ever pick him.
    Don't think Clara Janes is that strong in the Spanish poetry world. I'd rather go with Gelman, Cardenal, Gamoneda and Pacheco in that order of possibilities. However I'd be thrilled to have Parra as the winner, he's 96 years old tough. I don't think Muñoz Molina has the size to get it, in that case We can also add Eduardo Mendoza to the Mix. Marsé and the Goytisolos, of course they are worth it. Del Paso is great, but too low profile (it could be the academy's surprise in a few years). Cesar Aira is strong, but young, same than Marias. Atxaga was mentioned before, Spanish writing in basque, would be a interesing choice but less likeable. Interesting you tossed the name of Daniel Sada, but I don't think he has the caliber already; however recently he has had a lot of health problems, so I think it's time to start thinking about him. Fuentes is done after MVLL. Ana María Matute is the latest Cervantes Prize winner, and just by that, her name will be appearing in some bet lists. We haven´t seen Central America chances, so I'm just going to throw some names to the discussion: Horacio Castellanos Moya from El Salvador, Sergio Ramírez from Nicaragua & Rodrigo Rey Rosa from Guatemala.

    Quote Originally Posted by adaorardor View Post

    Russian-/Polish-/Czech-/other Slavic-language:
    Poetry- Zagajewski is a strong contender but the next poet won't be a Pole, so he'll have to wait for a real shot (he's only 65 though). By the way Tadeusz Rozewicz is still alive at age 90 right now.
    Prose-They seem to have skipped a whole generation of Russian writers. The only one I think still has a shot is Voinovich, and he's 79. Sokolov too little output, Andrei Bitov (74), Makanin (73) are still possible but I strongly doubt it. Sorokin too avant-garde, Pelevin too lightweight, Petrushevskaya too much "pop culture baggage." Tatyana Tolstaya I doubt, they don't want to talk all over again about how they didn't give Leo the prize. Shishkin too young still, not enough output.
    Among non-Russian writers, you'd think they would've already given it to Kundera if they were going to (although we've thought that before with Pinter, Lessing...but still). Albahari hasn't received enough other prizes. Mysliwski has a shot but he's 79 so it has to be soon. Tokarczuk has a great shot in future but still too young, barely 50.
    Non-fiction/other- Havel is a strong contender.
    ... and there's Kadare of course

    Quote Originally Posted by adaorardor View Post
    Portuguese/Italian/Hungarian/other European languages:
    Poetry-Transtromer is a front-runner but personally I think Goran Sonnevi has just as good a shot. Ferenc Juhasz is pretty old but has an outside shot. Salamun's younger but I doubt i.
    Prose-Peter Nadas and Laszlo Krasznahorkai are two strong contenders, two geniuses..I guess Nadas is likelier to be picked at this point because he's received more prizes? Claudio Magris has a great shot. Lobo Antunes. Peter Esterhazy has a real shot. Nooteboom. Gudbergur Bergsson I doubt...Adam Bodor and Gyorgy Spiro outside shots, not high-profile enough. Eugenio Corti is still around at age 90 but they'd have given it to him already. Peter Hoeg too young at 54, same for Knausgard, same for Cartarescu but he's one for the future.
    Non-fiction/other- Let's put Eco in this category but I doubt he ever gets it. Agamben with an outside shot, or perhaps even Roberto Calasso or Carlo Ginzburg?
    Antonio Tabucchi has great chances too. The best alive short story teller IMO. What about Alessandro Baricco? He's young (53) but he has a lot of interesting list of works the Academy could be looking at. For Portuguese, I'll say it again: Academy should be looking to Africa. Mia Couto and Pepetela are very deserving candidates.

  6. #206
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiffelio View Post
    Please try to be serious or we'll think you are as childish as waaklwriter.
    Take care. Those are some serious accusations

  7. #207

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Let's leave the political questions aside. I wasn't calling the US Republicans "far right," I was saying that IMHO I think they are generally too far right for the Nobel Committee's liking. My own political opinions haven't come into this at all.

    It's certainly not IMPOSSIBLE for a very old writer to win the prize, but I think the infrequency with which they do certainly means their odds are lower, if we're speculating. I mean, let's look at the numbers. How old was each writer when they won the prize?

    MVL - 74
    Muller - 56
    Le Clezio -68
    Lessing - 88
    Pamuk - 54
    Pinter - 75
    Jelinek - 58
    Coetzee - 63
    Kertesz - 73
    Naipaul - 69
    Gao - 60
    Grass - 72
    Saramago- 76
    Fo - 71
    Szymborska-73
    Heaney - 56
    Oe - 59
    Morrison - 62
    Walcott - 62
    Gordimer - 68
    Paz - 76
    Cela - 73
    Mahfouz - 76
    Brodsky - 47
    Soyinka - 52
    Simon - 72
    Seifert - 82
    Golding - 71
    GGM - 55

    Descriptively speaking, it's very rare for the Committee to pick a writer in their earlier 50's or younger, or a writer in their late 70's or older.

  8. #208
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    I'd argue that each country has at least ten great candidates. Ten is a conservative number, of course; there are probably more. Even if countries like East Timor probably don't even have one, countries like the USA or Brazil or Germany have twenty or forty each. So if we believe each country has ten worthy contenders, and that there are some 200 countries in the world, we're talking about 2000 contenders at least.

    There are a few writers I'd like to see win, but I have no reasons to explain why someone in particular should win over someone else. I'll just be happy if it's someone I know and whom I consider a good writer

  9. #209

    United Arab Emirates Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    By the by, and this question might best be answered by Eric, who of the poet candidates for the prize, had his poems translated to Swedish, whether for the consideration of the academy or for translation's sake only?

  10. #210
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Taleb View Post
    By the by, and this question might best be answered by Eric, who of the poet candidates for the prize, had his poems translated to Swedish, whether for the consideration of the academy or for translation's sake only?
    I do not think that it is publicly known for which authors the academy requests additional translations, right? At least, I would be very surprised. I guess this could be one of the sources for insider information about who is a priority or preliminary candidate, right? The more people are involved the easier it will be that infos are leaked.

    I guess all of them have very good knowledge of several languages, probably all (or nearly all) of them have a at least a very good passive knowledge of French and English and maybe German or Spanish. And if you have mastered these languages then you will find a translation that you are able to read in most cases, right? Therefore I assume that custom translations of specific nominees or specific works are only requested in particular cases, say that the nominee is writing in a rather arcane language for example or is not well known yet. But maybe the Nobel webapge says more on this issue, haven't checked.

    But I am also very curious if Eric has something to say on this matter. Maybe he was even contacted in the past to prepare such translations? Or to comment on some translations?
    Last edited by Rumpelstilzchen; 10-Aug-2011 at 13:47.

  11. #211
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiffelio View Post

    Now, this is total and ridiculous BS. You have no idea what far right means. It's as if I would want to lable US Democrats as being far left. Please try to be serious or we'll think you are as childish as waaklwriter.
    I don't know what I did to deserve that scathing insult in a debate I wasn't even involved in. But I don't quite understand your point. When it comes to moral issues like abortion, gay rights, secularism, the Republican party in America is far to the right of any major European rightist party, outside, perhaps, of a few heavily Catholic countries. When it comes to economic issues, they follow Hayak and Friedman's flawed theories with absolute devotion and repudiate the entire framework and model which Europe has pursued with its policies over the last half-century, including things like worker rights, social equality, and high quality infrastructure and government services at the expense of high taxes. Your comments are vague and your point is nearly nonsensical because I'm not sure what you're criticizing him for. Llosa is a bit of a cynical centrist compared to the American Republican party. But I think the Nobel Committee, while certainly inclined to give it to people who share their views, (one of the things Pinter had going for him), are also not blinded by a person's political views, which, let's face it, have only partial significance to their art.
    Last edited by waalkwriter; 10-Aug-2011 at 19:49.
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  12. #212
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by adaorardor View Post
    Let's leave the political questions aside. I wasn't calling the US Republicans "far right," I was saying that IMHO I think they are generally too far right for the Nobel Committee's liking. My own political opinions haven't come into this at all.

    It's certainly not IMPOSSIBLE for a very old writer to win the prize, but I think the infrequency with which they do certainly means their odds are lower, if we're speculating. I mean, let's look at the numbers. How old was each writer when they won the prize?

    MVL - 74
    Muller - 56
    Le Clezio -68
    Lessing - 88
    Pamuk - 54
    Pinter - 75
    Jelinek - 58
    Coetzee - 63
    Kertesz - 73
    Naipaul - 69
    Gao - 60
    Grass - 72
    Saramago- 76
    Fo - 71
    Szymborska-73
    Heaney - 56
    Oe - 59
    Morrison - 62
    Walcott - 62
    Gordimer - 68
    Paz - 76
    Cela - 73
    Mahfouz - 76
    Brodsky - 47
    Soyinka - 52
    Simon - 72
    Seifert - 82
    Golding - 71
    GGM - 55

    Descriptively speaking, it's very rare for the Committee to pick a writer in their earlier 50's or younger, or a writer in their late 70's or older.
    Well, according to your age list, the average from all of those laureates is 69.93. Let's round it to 70.
    The most repeated age is 73 and 76 years old (3 times each one).
    So, with the statistics we can start looking for likely candidates that are 70, 73 or 76

    70: Ricardo Piglia, Eduardo Galeano,
    73: Joyce Carol Oates
    76: Fernando del Paso, Andre Brink, Luis Goytisolo,
    Last edited by Daniel del Real; 10-Aug-2011 at 23:34.

  13. #213
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Well, according to your age list, the average from all of those laureates is 69.93. Let's round it to 70.
    The most repeated age is 73 and 76 years old (3 times each one).
    So, with the statistics we can start looking for likely candidates that are 70, 73 or 76
    Haha. Daniel, thanks for that. That method would be about as accurate and worthwhile as anything else being said and discussed in all this vetting.
    "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

  14. #214

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    I too was surprised how many laureates there were in their 70s. However, I think the point to take away is: only TWO laureates below the age of 55, and only TWO above the age of 76. It's clear that with very few exceptions they generally stick to a certain age range.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Well, according to your age list, the average from all of those laureates is 69.93. Let's round it to 70.
    The most repeated age is 73 and 76 years old (3 times each one).
    So, with the statistics we can start looking for likely candidates that are 70, 73 or 76

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Without having read him (yet) I wonder how serious one has to take Peter Nadas for this year's Nobel prize. The information about him that is available on the web give the impression that he could be a great contender. Furthermore his new trilogy of novels Parallel Stories is due to come out this fall in English and French and next spring in German. With 18 years in the making this seems to be a hell of a book. Already the somewhat older book Book of Memories seems to be quite a monument. I wonder if this could be one of the cases where the Nobel committee requested a preliminary version of the translation for their considerations? The translators will know for sure, but are they allowed to talk about it?

    In any case I think I will have to order more books soon...

  16. #216

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Apfelwurm View Post
    Without having read him (yet) I wonder how serious one has to take Peter Nadas for this year's Nobel prize. The information about him that is available on the web give the impression that he could be a great contender. Furthermore his new trilogy of novels Parallel Stories is due to come out this fall in English and French and next spring in German. With 18 years in the making this seems to be a hell of a book. Already the somewhat older book Book of Memories seems to be quite a monument. I wonder if this could be one of the cases where the Nobel committee requested a preliminary version of the translation for their considerations? The translators will know for sure, but are they allowed to talk about it?

    In any case I think I will have to order more books soon...
    Parallel Stories is actually not a trilogy, it's just one really really long novel so sometimes it gets published in several volumes I guess. But Peter Nadas is a genius, A Book of Memories is one of the greatest novels I've ever read and I strongly recommend it. When people bemoan how there are good writers out there but no true GIANTS like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Proust, Joyce, Musil....they should go read Peter Nadas. The End of a Family Story and his stories and essays collected in Fire and Knowledge are great, too. I can't wait for the English translation of Parallel Stories.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Here's a stupid question:

    If Parallel Stories was published in 2005 (in Hungarian only), how could Susan Sontag, who died in 2004, say the following about it: "The greatest novel written in our time, and one of the great books of the century"? Did she say this about some other book, and was her quote mis-appropriated by Amazon's editorial board?

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    Here's a stupid question:

    If Parallel Stories was published in 2005 (in Hungarian only), how could Susan Sontag, who died in 2004, say the following about it: "The greatest novel written in our time, and one of the great books of the century"? Did she say this about some other book, and was her quote mis-appropriated by Amazon's editorial board?
    *lol* but wouldnt surprise me, I have "The Naked and The Dead" and "Catch-22" with exactly the same quote with a praise from... have forgotten now and need to check it, on the back cover of both of them... makes one think huh

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    Here's a stupid question:

    If Parallel Stories was published in 2005 (in Hungarian only), how could Susan Sontag, who died in 2004, say the following about it: "The greatest novel written in our time, and one of the great books of the century"? Did she say this about some other book, and was her quote mis-appropriated by Amazon's editorial board?
    I guess the amazon people mixed this up, at least I have seen this quote several times in connection with his other BIG novel Book of Memories, but who knows...

  20. #220

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    Here's a stupid question:

    If Parallel Stories was published in 2005 (in Hungarian only), how could Susan Sontag, who died in 2004, say the following about it: "The greatest novel written in our time, and one of the great books of the century"? Did she say this about some other book, and was her quote mis-appropriated by Amazon's editorial board?
    She said it about "A Book of Memories", on the back of the book I'm sure it says Praise for his earlier novel A Book of Memories, or sth like that.

    Totally inaccurate if applied to Catch-22 or The Naked and the Dead, not far wrong when applied to A Book of Memories.

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