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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

  1. #21
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    Finland Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    How did you arrive at Holappa, Liam?
    I have read his selected poems of the last 30 years as well as a scattering of other translated pieces here and there, and they're beautiful. Politically, he would be an important choice: Finnish, gay, environmentalist, anti-war, pro-democracy, etc. His gay-themed novel Portrait of a Friend is one of the things I really really really want to read, except it hasn't been translated into English yet (although it is available in French).
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Latvia has to get it together.
    Well, they could always give it to Ziedonis in recognition to his services to Poetry, but he is so ill now he probably won't make it till October--although I by no means wish to be his kiss of death.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by JTolle View Post
    Dear GOD! Not Banville! If that arrogant prick ever got the Nobel his ego would transform into a "giant Adenoid" blob fit to consume all of Dublin!
    That about sums him up, all right. He's definitely not short on ego. How about when he won the Booker? His acceptance speech: "It's nice to see a work of art win the Booker Prize". Imagine what he'd say if the Nobel people ever come calling.

  3. #23
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    Ireland Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by JTolle View Post
    my money would settle with Paul Muldoon who's hilariously genius from what I've read of him
    I don't think he's a better poet than Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, as far as present-day Irish poetry is concerned. Heaney is of course a giant towering above all others, but he has the big prize already.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    They could indeed give it to Imants Ziedonis. He's on a par with Kaplinski. The trouble is that Sweden, by giving the prize to a Balt, would open up that can of worms, with the Baltic deportations after WWII. (There will be an exhibition about Swedish Nazism in the local Uppsala museum in the autumn, so I'm told, but the Balts are still off limits, I feel.)

    I know nothing about Banville, so I cannot share the jokes and glee.

    From what I read about Muldoon, there's something glib and academic about him. The article in the NYRB recently was informative, but I didn't warm to him or his work.

    As for Noola O'Thumbnail, all I remember about her is drinking beer from plastic mugs in Leuven when they were performing in the mid-1990s. But I have never read anything by this English-born poet, married to a Turk.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    Well, they could always give it to Ziedonis in recognition to his services to Poetry, but he is so ill now he probably won't make it till October--although I by no means wish to be his kiss of death.
    Could you post some of Ziedonis' poetry, Liam? I looked at his wiki and am very intrigued. I also notice that he lacks a thread...
    "...in the spring there was clouds"

  6. #26
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    Latvia Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    If I can find the book. Maybe Eric can start a thread in the meantime and I can add to it later? I only have his Flowers of Ice at home, plus I translated a short little poem by him recently (and it was, miracle of miracles!, even praised by our own Eric here, who's a very scrupulous translator himself, so I guess I didn't do so badly as I thought).

  7. #27
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    Latvia Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Imants Ziedonis is very intriguing. But as Liam pointed out, he is also very ill. My favourites are his "Epiphanies" which are short prose poems that approach everyday occurrences from an oblique angle. He wrote two or three collectiions of these epiphanies over the years, alongside his more conventional poetry.

    I've just literally now (re-)discovered that I have a signed copy of Juris Kronbergs' translations into Swedish of some of Ziedonis' epiphanies, signed by Ziedonis himself. I must have met him in Holland (?) at some time. He wrote: "Dikensam - sai pasa puse. 199.", i.e., to Dickens - [in his own country?] 199." Not sure what he means. The date is the 1990s, but the year? Anyway, I first read the epiphanies that Kronbergs had translated about 1980 and was really impressed.

    So if Liam can find a few translations, I can help too via the Swedish - because I do know enough Latvian to compare things with the originals (which I have). If there isn't already a thread for Ziedonis we can start one. I shall double check.

    So even if he doesn't win the Nobel, he will not be forgotten. But if he were to win the Nobel, it would be a great boost for Latvian literature.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    I'm running out of the house now to see a film with a friend, but I'll be sure to add to the thread later, if you start one, .

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by JTolle View Post
    Dear GOD! Not Banville! If that arrogant prick ever got the Nobel his ego would transform into a "giant Adenoid" blob fit to consume all of Dublin!
    Ah don't worry, the same thing you feared happened with Mario Vargas Llosa last year, and his enormous ego spreaded all over Latin American and Spain. You'll get mad lots of time for what he has to say to the media but eventually you'll get used to it and start ignoring him.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    J.K. Rowling is a delightful nuisance. I do understand the whole "But she gets millions of children to READ" sentiment, and that's a pretty thought, ain't it, but if those children ever progress to reading anything else is questionable. I have never heard anyone say, I've never read anything before, then I got hooked on Rowling, now I'm reading Proust, y'all!
    Ahem? Okay, I don't read Proust. Does William Faulkner count?

    Adonis is brilliant.

    Excerpt from "The Edge of the World:

    I release the earth and I imprison the skies. I fall down in order to stay faithful to the light, in order to make the world ambiguous, fascinating, changeable, dangerous, in
    order to announce the steps beyond.
    The blood of the gods is still fresh on my clothes. A seagull's scream echoes through my pages. Let me just pack up my words and leave.
    Here's an excerpt of another poem of his, titled "The Funeral of New York" (written in 1971)
    Picture the earth as a pear
    or breast.
    Between such fruits and death
    survives an engineering trick:
    New York,
    Call it a city on four legs
    heading for murder
    while the drowned already moan
    in the distance.
    New York is a woman
    holding, according to history,
    a rag called liberty with one hand
    and strangling the earth with the other.
    "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

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    I am waiting for that unknown, single book published, Ecuadorian (?) name to prop up and move up the bookies chart as last year...

    Personally, I would prefer an African name being selected this time.. Nuruddin Farah , or Thion'go etc..
    Jayan



  12. #32
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Tomas Venclova
    The maker of kitsch does not create inferior art, he is not an incompetent or a bungler, he cannot be evaluated by aesthetic standards; rather, he is ethically depraved, a criminal willing radical evil. - Hermann Broch

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by anchomal View Post
    Still, my choice this year would be Amos Oz. Or what about sharing the prize with another middle eastern writer, maybe a poet? So, Oz and Adonis. They'd be good choices, I think.
    Yes, I would love Amos Oz and someone from the Palestinian territories sharing the prize. But since this would be a clear political statement from the Nobel committee it would undermine their assertions somehow that they award the prize on basis of literary considerations only.

    I guess German writing authors are excluded after Herta Müller two years ago?

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    I'd rather Oz and Adonis...Adonis over Oz.
    "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

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Apfelwurm View Post
    I guess German writing authors are excluded after Herta Müller two years ago?
    The point is, in an ideal world it should not matter at all from which country the last few winners came or in what language they write or how many wins some countries have. The only thing that should matter is the current selection of writers and their literary quality and importance. Of course in an ideal world the committee making the decision should be based on a multicultural and international group of people.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    I think it will be merely be a few years. The German language has some good writers, but the names discussed are young and can wait a while, not to mention the award has been absurdly Euro-Centric the last 20 years or so. A poet like Adonis, is 81, and, honestly, might not have too many more shots at winning the award. Same for that matter with the Americans that come to mind for me, Edward Albee and Gore Vidal.
    "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

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Something I have always wondered about:
    Given that the same people decide the prize year after year, is there a hierarchy among winners. For instance, Mario Vargas Llosa won last year but must have been in the running for a long time. His work in the last few years has added little to his stature as a writer. So, given that the award is supposedly driven by quality alone and that geographical location is not a factor (hard as that is to believe), does that mean that all the winners of the previous, say, ten to twenty years are in the Nobel people's opinion better writers that the most recent laureate?

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    It's always interesting to re-read Adonis' poetry and be reminded how deeply he's indebted to Whitman...

    I would appreciate an unexpected choice, if it had to be an American. Someone Like John Ashbery, Tony Kushner, or Jay Wright, who, fabulous writers that they are, aren't "expected" in the way Roth, DeLillo, Pynchon, and McCarthy are.

    Although, in the midst of Gravity's Rainbow as I am, I would think Pynchon should be beating back the likes of any of his contemporaries for a prize like the Nobel. I mean, besides the epic, trans-national frolicking it revels in, and its wily host of characters, who else can punch out sentence after sentence of such tense and balanced prose:

    "Fair and slender, the hair on his legs only visible in sunlight and then as a fine, imponderable net of gold, his eyelids already wrinkling in oddly young/old signatures, flourishes, the eyes a seldom-encountered blue that on certain days, in sync with the weather, is too much for these almond fringes and brims over, seeps, bleeds out to illuminate the boy's entire face, virgin-blue, drowned-man blue, blue drawn so insatiably into the chalky walls of Mediterranean streets we quietly cycled through in noontimes of the old peace..."
    Lord, if that sentence isn't beautiful, I don't know what is.
    "...in the spring there was clouds"

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    I'd prefer Albee. More than anyone. I'd be happy if Gore Vidal won though.

    Anyway, let me say that sentence is exactly what bothers me about Pynchon when I try to read, beyond the snarkiness and propensity to take referencing games too far. It's a similar reason why I simply put down a William S. Burroughs book recently. That sentence rambles onward, with a collection of clauses that don't quite seem to fit together, and seem to be a blur of visceral images and poetic language overflowing, no, not overflowing, flooding and smashing the floodwalls of that sentence. At the least, when Virginia Woolf or Faulkner put a sentence up for half a page, or stopped in the middle of a sentence and picked it back up 40 pages later, the internal logic and order of the sentence's progression was still clear and Faulkner especially was great at not overloading an sentence to the point of hyperbole. Not to start an argument.

    edit: I feel so strongly like there should be a dash, or two, or three, in that Pynchon sentence and then the shift of images and progression of the sentence would be much cleaner for me as a reader.
    "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

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by anchomal View Post
    Something I have always wondered about:
    Given that the same people decide the prize year after year, is there a hierarchy among winners. For instance, Mario Vargas Llosa won last year but must have been in the running for a long time. His work in the last few years has added little to his stature as a writer. So, given that the award is supposedly driven by quality alone and that geographical location is not a factor (hard as that is to believe), does that mean that all the winners of the previous, say, ten to twenty years are in the Nobel people's opinion better writers that the most recent laureate?
    The committee is made of people with different tastes and regional interests. I'd assume it's a bit of a balancing act between all the while keeping a certain seriousness about representing different cultures and regions, as well as different prominent movements.
    "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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