Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 801

Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NYC, USA
    Posts
    4,494

    Award Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Strange, usually midway through the summer one of our "famous" Nobel speculation threads is already well under way, with blood being spilled here there and everywhere, . Sometimes we start them as early as June. Daniel usually jumps at the opportunity to be the first to do so (I wonder what happened to dampen his spirits this year?)

    Annnyyywwwaaay, on to the meat.

    What are some of your hopefuls for this year's Prize? Names you think WILL win? Names you feel ought to win, and just might? Names you feel ought to win but stand no chance?

    Personally I think this year's award will go either to an Asian writer (Ko Un, perhaps?) or a Middle Easterner (Adonis? or one of those pro-Palestinian Israeli authors [sounds like an oxymoron, but they're out there]).

    I am always pleased when a poet wins, but I doubt it will happen this year, since TT was awarded in 2011 (it's too soon).

    Any new names you would like to add into the mix?

    One thing is certain, however. The winner, whoever he/she or they are, won't be Swedish, !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Bangalore
    Posts
    1,714

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    One thing is certain, however. The winner, whoever he/she or they are, won't be Swedish, !
    and very unlikely a 'poet' to get it again this time. That will rule out Adonis and Ko Un.

    Personally, I would like it to go to Africa , this time.
    Jayan



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Kroke, Polin
    Posts
    682

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by kpjayan View Post
    and very unlikely a 'poet' to get it again this time. That will rule out Adonis and Ko Un.

    Personally, I would like it to go to Africa , this time.
    Oh, who knows. They've done it before. Szymborska got her award one year after Heaney.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Recently I was checking the Nobel Library @ Stockholm, and aside from some usual names (Joyce Carol Oates(138 titles in the library), Ismail Kadaré(107), Peter Handke(95), Margaret Atwood(63)), I noticed a vast amount of works available by (or about) the following 10 authors (which I would like to submit for discussion):

    Novelists: Antonio Lobo Antunes (83 titles), Tahar Ben Jelloun (54).

    Poets: Tadeusz Rózewicz (86), Hans M. Enzensberger (68), Adam Zagajewski (62), Charles Simic (51), Durs Grünbein(50), John Ashbery (50), Friederike Mayröcker (45).

    Playwrights: Botho Strauss (45).

    I know these stats don't say anything about quality (this being a sort of Franco Moretti approach), but they do indicate something about the interest (number of translations included) of publishing houses around the world in these authors, and also of how much attention Stockholm has payed them (or at least for the curators of the library).

    I wonder what you accomplished readers have to say about those authors. Are they likely as Nobel Winners this year?

    Let's begin with Lobo Antunes: Does anyone think he is a likely candidate? Why should he win the Nobel prize?

    (As for my opinion on the authors: So far I haven't responded well to the rambling narrative of Mr. Antunes (having only read the first of his books: Elephant Memory). On the other hand, I am in awe of some insightful moments of Mr. Grünbein and the jaded wisdom of Mr. Rózewicz, even though I disagree with some of their poems, specially ones I find too expressionistic, disregarding form. As for the other authors, I haven't read enough to make up my mind.)

    PS: Just for reference (if anyone is interested), here is a title-count of other authors in the Nobel library:

    Writers from some Cannons: Strindberg (424), Shakespeare (254), Dostoevskij (137), Proust (104), Zbigniew Herbert (64), V. Woolf (63), Franz Kafka (60), J. Joyce (53), Jorge Amado (50), Celan (44), Sebald (33)...

    Past winners: Milosz (190), M. Vargas Llosa (135), Samuel Beckett (120), André Gide (120), Doris Lessing (103), Joseph Brodsky (98), Knut Hamsun (88), Yeats (86), V.S. Naipaul (66), Imre Kertesz (63), JM Coetzee(58), Jelinek (54), E. Canetti (51), Pinter (49), Claude Simon (40)...

    Contemporary authors: Umberto Eco (68), Adonis (57), Amos Oz(53), Kundera (50), Martin Walser (50), Jon Fosse (48), Evgenij Evtuskenko (48), the late Mahmoud Darwish (46), Philip Roth (46), György Konrad (40), the late Jaan Kross (40), Ngugi Wa Thiong'o (35), Mo Yan (35), Achebe (31), DeLillo (30), Thomas Venclova (29), Ko Un (29), Mia Couto (28), Tokarczuk (28), Breytenbach (26), Fugard (20), Doulatabadi (15), Krasznahorkai (15), Cormac McCarthy (12), Gerald Murnane (12), James Kelman (11), Edward Albee (10)...
    Last edited by Gabriel; 05-Oct-2012 at 14:17.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NYC, USA
    Posts
    4,494

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Krasznahorkai
    Oh gosh, if L. K. won I'd be thrilled!

    But maybe a Russian dissident will get it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Guadalajara
    Posts
    5,320

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Now,this is how I started back the speculation thread for 2011. Let's see the variations:

    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.
    Well, they proved me wrong. Next.

    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.
    This is the same situation, with Philip Roth adding more and more prizes to his display cabinet and the critics from the United States crying all over again for not awarding him. However, I still see hostility against Roth's works in the Swedish Academy so if the winner comes from the United States I'd incline for Cormac McCarthy.

    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.
    Everything points it to be Ngugi's year. His name is powerful enough to be in the lists but known worldwide as many other big selling names. Don't see Orient having the prize 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.
    Now it's been two years in a row that an "eternal" candidate finally got to win the Nobel. Three years in a row? don't think so. So throw your names for "obscure" writers in here

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by kpjayan View Post
    Personally, I would like it to go to Africa , this time.
    And which African writer do you think could win?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    7,775

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    I always wonder how these Nobel leaks get into the public domain. I used to think that all 18 of the noble Nobel committee would never divulge the name of the future winner or what I term the "runners-up", i.e. the list of candidates prior to the ultimate announcement. But in the early 1990s, this must definitely have happened with Jaan Kross, as suddenly one particular British publisher was suddenly very eager to publish things by this then obscure Estonian writer (obscure, that is, to the Western world at the time). But I suppose it's difficult to keep a team of 18 disciplined. And experts are consulted from all over the world. So in the case of Kross, as there were very few people that could be rated as "experts", these people too could have blabbed. (Don't suspect me. I knew relatively little about Kross or his chances of winning at the time, though by then he'd given me a couple of his novels.)

    Doris Lessing is in my good books, as I said on another thread as she reviewed my translation of Kross "Treading Air" back in 2003.

    Maybe Australian bookshops are not a yardstick by which the quality or world impact of a Nobel winner should be judged. Although they tend to know their Estonians, as a lot of Estonians settled there after WWII, and they have had children and grandchildren.

    A lot of English-language internet chatter, especially about authors that don't write in English, is people copying half-truths off one another, with no actual access to source-language, or source-culture texts or books.

    Finally for now, you've got to be careful with the terms "obscure" or "unknown". This usually means that people who read nothing but English haven't heard of the author, should the author not be translated into English. Tens of millions of people can have heard of Spanish-language or Portuguese-language authors without the Brits, Yanks, and Aussies realising they exist. As Herta Müller writes in German, not Romanian, she will have been well-known in the German-speaking countries long before the Nobel. And the sad thing with Pamuk is that he has become the Token Turk, and hardly any other Turkish author gets translated into English, unless they are writing about the persecution of the Kurds or Armenians. Then they are not being translated for literary value, but for political reasons.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    7,775

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    The "quality, not quantity" adage is partly a red herring. I am the first to say that, for instance, Amélie Nothomb and Clarice Lispector, who have written short novels, are a very good writers. But people who pop up out of nowhere (who had heard of Shishkin and Krasznahorkai five years ago?) have to be doubly scrutrinised to ensure that we don't end up with yet more phonies or ex-secret policemen, posing as Great Renewers of Literature.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    The "quality, not quantity" adage is partly a red herring. I am the first to say that, for instance, Amélie Nothomb and Clarice Lispector, who have written short novels, are a very good writers. But people who pop up out of nowhere (who had heard of Shishkin and Krasznahorkai five years ago?) have to be doubly scrutrinised to ensure that we don't end up with yet more phonies or ex-secret policemen, posing as Great Renewers of Literature.
    It's not a red herring if you actually bother to read the work itself. (Something which you never seem to do, going by your posts here). Have you read Shishkin and Krasznahorkai? If not, then your myopic protestations can't be taken seriously at all. And please read my post carefully and try to understand: I'm talking about the "number" of books (in the case of Bishop, the number of poems), not the length. Capiche?

    Emily Bronte only wrote one novel. Not even a long one. I guess she doesn't meet your exacting standards. And poor Virgil with his paltry numbers.

    I, for one, welcome the Great Renewers of Literature, whoever they are. Sounds sexy.
    Last edited by Uemarasan; 07-Aug-2012 at 21:20.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    7,775

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Seriously, scholars, what is the difference between "maidenhair" and "pubic hair"? Definitions please! If you have named yourself Maidenhair, new reader, maybe it's a synonym, maybe something completely different. The word is "pubescent", by the way, not "pubertal". Brits love to make pubicle jokes in the same way that other nations talk incessantly about piss and shit, which forms an innate part of their humour.

    My previous comments suddenly reminded me of a very old chestnut of a joke:

    - Which Russian peninsula is named after an American drink?
    - The Kola Peninsula.
    - What's the favourite activity out there?
    - Camping.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Guadalajara
    Posts
    5,320

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    Strange, usually midway through the summer one of our "famous" Nobel speculation threads is already well under way, with blood being spilled here there and everywhere, . Sometimes we start them as early as June. Daniel usually jumps at the opportunity to be the first to do so (I wonder what happened to dampen his spirits this year?)
    Oh Liam, did you miss me? How sweet of you
    Well, I've been really busy these weeks and frankly, after so many years with the speculation, deleting the names that won and the ones that passed away, 85% remain the same. Favorites to ladbrokes will be Roth, Adonis, Ko Un, McCarthy, Thiong'o, Murakami, Pynchon, De Lillo, etc.

    My favorites are the same than last year: Kadare, Murakami, Maalouf, Gelman, Pacheco. The big names missing in this year's list is Antonio Tabucchi's who died in March and Carlos Fuentes who passed away in May.

    Now if I had to put some money on it, I would throw three names out there: Antonio Lobo Antunes, Ngugi Wa Thiong'o & Cormac McCarthy (I really really hope Roth doesn't win, very mediocre writer).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NYC, USA
    Posts
    4,494

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    I really really hope Roth doesn't win, very mediocre writer.
    For once we're in agreement, amigo, .

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Guadalajara
    Posts
    5,320

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    For once we're in agreement, amigo, .
    No doubt world will end in December

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    And which African writer do you think could win?
    Well, the big name by experts and betting lists on past years has been Ngugi Wa Thiong'o. I'm sure that he will head the lists for African writers this year. Some other names to consider but that have been losing presence as time goes by are Chinua Achebe, Nuruddin Farah. It would be interesting also to consider some african names writing in Portuguese language: probably not too known worldwide but Mia Couto and Pepetela are two fine writes who should be considered.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    7,775

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Oh dear, we're back at that part of the year, are we?

    Gabriel makes an interesting point about numbers, but you have to consider carefully what you regard as a "work". What surely counts is a substantial number of novels, short-story collections, poetry collections, essay collections, and plays, not all the little articles and reviews they've written for the newspapers or, nowadays, online, or blog articles. So when you compare Doris Lessing with Krasznahorkai, different things are perhaps being counted.

    Just to counter Liam's point about the Swedish Academy and me, I did once meet the chairman of that Nobel committee that does all the hard work of sifting the books, and he was a thoroughly nice and unpretentious chap. We politely avoided the subject of the Nobel. It is, in any case, much more fun to speculate, although the bookmakers do get a bit vulgar about the activity of giving a prize to a genius, not betting on galloping horses.

    I'm more at a loss than ever this year, as all I could come up with is that tired old list that has been bandied around for years, one of whose members is sometimes removed when he or she wins.

    Another rather indecent side to speculation on the Nobel is the way that as soon as the winner is either leaked or announced formally, publishers go into overdrive to get slave translators to get the books translated as quickly as possible so that their multinational press can make even more money. When, in the 1990s, Jaan Kross was in the running for a while, I felt very ambiguous about what would happen should he win, as I would have had to work flat out on something, probably for relatively little pay. But it would, of course, have been a boost to my career. And I have, nevertheless, to thank the Nobel speculation in the early 1990s for the fact I got my first Kross translation, because his name was being bandied about then. Since then, and without the Nobel as a back-up I have translated a total of three books by Kross.

    But ultimately, the Nobel is a one-horse race, because no one remembers the runners-up as the haggling and discussion is kept discreetly from the general public. The only names mentioned are generated by people speculating as we are doing here.

    Though as I say, I haven't a clue myself, not least because I've not given the Nobel a thought for months.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Gabriel makes an interesting point about numbers, but you have to consider carefully what you regard as a "work". What surely counts is a substantial number of novels, short-story collections, poetry collections, essay collections, and plays, not all the little articles and reviews they've written for the newspapers or, nowadays, online, or blog articles. So when you compare Doris Lessing with Krasznahorkai, different things are perhaps being counted.
    Completely valid observation. For instance, in the numbers I posted previously, a preface of another author's book, an article or even a single short story from a collection featuring other authors, is counted up as a "work" by the author.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Another rather indecent side to speculation on the Nobel is the way that as soon as the winner is either leaked or announced formally, publishers go into overdrive to get slave translators to get the books translated as quickly as possible so that their multinational press can make even more money.
    I never thought of this! I remember that by the time she won the Nobel, Herta Müller had only 2 books traslated into spanish (The Passport and Nadirs, or in spanish El hombre es un gran faisán en el mundo y En tierras bajas), and in 1 + 1/2 year the number rose quickly up to 10. Pamuk, on the other hand, apparently, got translated a lot earlier because of John Updike's praise of his works, and perhaps some political notoriety. So perhaps it's not so much the Nobel causing the translations, but just the taste of American publishing houses and their influence throughout the world.

    That said, I still hope an unknown author, hardly translated, but worthy gets the prize this year! The only thing is, with so much internet discussions nowadays, and such interest in global literature (at least from my perspective), is it really possible for a Nobel worthy author to go entirely under the radar? Maybe we, as readers, now have a better chance of knowing about obscure authors? (I'm almost certain we already know about the winning author) Perhaps the days of the Nobel Prize as a discoverer of "unknown masters", are counted?

    NOTE: I'm just referring to knowing about, i.e. having heard of. A deeper understanding of any Nobel worthy author might plausibly be limited to certain small groups.
    Last edited by Gabriel; 06-Aug-2012 at 17:04.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    That said, I still hope an unknown author, hardly translated, but worthy gets the prize this year! The only thing is, with so much internet discussions nowadays, and such interest in global literature (at least from my perspective), is it really possible for a Nobel worthy author to go entirely under the radar? Maybe we, as readers, now have a better chance of getting acquainted with obscure authors? Perhaps the days of the Nobel Prize as a discoverer of "unknown masters", are counted?
    Interesting, but hard to say. Patrick White, Australia's only Nobel Laureate is, now, almost totally unavailable outside Australia, and inside Australia only became available again after a number of articles moaning how he was out of print for years and years (and he was).

    Similarly, after Le Clezio and after Muller won, I raced around the bookstores in Brisbane (Australia's third biggest city, almost 2 million people) and found - nothing. Nothing. Sure, both are available now, but neither were available then.

    So, at least from the insular Australian perspective, sure, each author will probably be a very new discovery. And that's...............something.

    Basically, for Australia, a book must first arrive in either America or the United Kingdoms (difficult to begin with), and then be sufficiently popular that it makes its way here. So, very difficult for any author, and even more difficult for a translated work. It's a shame.

    Of course, the internet makes these problems much less severe, but even still.
    My Website - book reviews and literary essays.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NYC, USA
    Posts
    4,494

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Damian Kelleher View Post
    Patrick White, Australia's only Nobel Laureate is, now, almost totally unavailable outside Australia
    Well, that's not really true, except perhaps his short story collections and some really early fiction. Riders in the Chariot has been available for years in a beautiful NYRB paperback (which I own). Voss and The Vivisector have both been published by Penguin, also in affordable paperback editions. The Eye of the Storm, perhaps his masterpiece, is available with a stupid movie-poster cover on it (I've always found those extremely tasteless, with very few exceptions). So yeah, Paddy White is not forgotten at all, and thank god for that!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Damian Kelleher View Post
    Interesting, but hard to say. Patrick White, Australia's only Nobel Laureate is, now, almost totally unavailable outside Australia, and inside Australia only became available again after a number of articles moaning how he was out of print for years and years (and he was).
    They're still really hard to find - I convinced a group of friends here in Canberra to group read The Twyborn Affair, only to realise it was so hard to get from Random House, we gave up.

    Having said that, Text are publishing his first novel, Happy Valley, in their wonderful new Classics range, for the first time in a bajillion years. I think White himself wanted it to remain out of print, but someone in his estate caved.
    Looking for something to read?
    matttodd.wordpress.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    7,775

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 Speculation

    How many books have Shishkin and Krasznahorkai actually written, and over what space of time? Are they really experienced enough to be Nobel candidates? Because most Nobel winners have a long pedigree in that they've been writing for decades and have quite a few books to their name.

    As for Daniel's forgotten lands, the Dutch have never won a Nobel for literature. Doesn't say much for a country that claims to be very commercial and market-savvy. Harry Mulisch was on the list for years, but he died. Cees Nooteboom (aka Cornelis Johannes Jacobus Maria Nooteboom; born 1933) is perhaps the Netherlands' only chance this year of winning their first Nobel ever. But isn't he really more of a travel writer nowadays? See the Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cees_Nooteboom

    By the way, we say "Albania" and "the Soviet Union" in English.

Similar Threads

  1. Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 Speculation
    By Daniel del Real in forum Nobel Prize in Literature
    Replies: 729
    Last Post: 07-Oct-2011, 20:37
  2. Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 Speculation
    By Daniel del Real in forum Nobel Prize in Literature
    Replies: 491
    Last Post: 07-Oct-2010, 13:02
  3. Nobel Prize in Literature 2009 Speculation
    By Stewart in forum Nobel Prize in Literature
    Replies: 465
    Last Post: 08-Oct-2009, 13:03
  4. Nobel Prize in Literature 2008 Speculation
    By Stewart in forum Nobel Prize in Literature
    Replies: 201
    Last Post: 09-Oct-2008, 22:59

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •