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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

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    Award Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Get cracking!

    Early Nobel Odds
    Last edited by maidenhair; 30-Jul-2013 at 13:44.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Are we starting with that madness already? I was waiting for early August to open the thread

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    If [insert name here] doesn't win the prize this year, I swear, it surely means that:
    [the Swedish Academy members were bought off/ the prize is political /the prize is not political enough / the world is coming to an end soon /today's name ends on 'y'].
    To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations, such is a pleasure beyond compare.
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Given how the laureates these past few years, I would put my money this time on a female writer, perhaps Djebar.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Given how the laureates these past few years, I would put my money this time on a female writer, perhaps Djebar.
    Well, since Englund arrived as permanent secretary it seems that he's determined to end with the droughts (I know he's not that influential as an individual, just trying to make a point)

    2010: Mario Vargas Llosa/ 20 years for Spanish language
    2011: Tomas Tranströmer/15 years without a poet and 37 for Swedes
    2012: Mo Yan/First 100% Chinese writer
    2013: US can start cheering for Roth one more time

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    What do you think of the Neustadt International Prize nominees for 2014? Anyone among them that might be in the mix? Ilya Kaminsky is certainly too young for the prize. I notice that Edward P. Jones is an US American , but probably his oeuvre is too slim for any Nobel consideration (I haven't read him at all). Murakami: no chance. And even though I like Cesar Aira's slim books, I do not consider him to be relevant for the Nobel (but I admit that having read only a couple of his many dozens of books, I am not in a good position to make any trustworthy statements about him...). Checking wikipedia and the Nobel library it seems that besides Aira and Murakami also Mia Couto and Duong Thu Huong have a wide-ranging oeuvre.
    The Nominees
    César Aira
    Aira is an Argentine writer, translator and exponent of contemporary Argentine literature. He has published more than 70 books of stories, novels and essays. He writes at a fast rate, producing two to four novella-length books each year since 1993. He also has translated and edited books from France, England, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and Venezuela. Aira is nominated by Cristina Rivera-Garza, and his representative work is How I Became a Nun.

    Mia Couto
    Couto is the first Mozambican author to be nominated for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Couto published a poetry collection, Raiz de Orvalho(Root of dew), in 1983. His first book of short stories, Vozes Anoitecidas, was critically acclaimed in Portugal. An international jury at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair named his first novel, Terra Sonâmbula (1992; Eng. Sleepwalking Land, 2006), one of the 12 best African books of the 20th century. Couto is nominated by Gabriella Ghermandi, and his representative work is Sleepwalking Land.

    Duong Thu Huong
    Duong’s first novels, Journey into Childhood, Beyond Illusions, Paradise of the Blind and The Lost Life, became bestsellers in Vietnam before they were banned. Her next three works, Novel Without a Name, Memories of a Pure Spring and No Man’s Land, have only been published in foreign countries. She was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in recognition of significant contributions to the arts and literature in France. Duong is nominated by Andrew Lam, and her representative work is No Man’s Land.

    Edward P. Jones
    Jones is the author of The Known World, for which he won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His third book, All Aunt Hagar’s Children, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2006. Jones, an American author, also was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2005 and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the art of the short story. Jones is nominated by Laleh Khadivi, and his representative work is All Aunt Hagar’s Children.

    Ilya Kaminsky
    Kaminsky is the first Ukrainian-born author to be nominated for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. His verse collection Dancing in Odessa won the Whiting Writer’s Award, the American Academy of Arts & Letters Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, Poetry magazine’s Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and was named 2004’s Best Poetry Book of the Year by ForeWord magazine. Kaminsky’s latest manuscript, Deaf Republic, also won Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize. Kaminsky is nominated by Lauren Camp, and his representative work is Dancing in Odessa.

    Chang-rae Lee
    Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated to the United States in 1968 at the age of 2. His first novel, Native Speaker, won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the American Book Award and the ALA Book of the Year Award. Lee currently teaches creative writing at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts. Lee is nominated by Krys Lee, and his representative work is The Surrendered.

    Edouard Maunick
    Maunick is a native of Mauritius, which makes him the first Mauritian to be nominated for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. His first poetry collection, Les Oiseaux du Sang, was published in 1954, followed by Les Manèges de la Mer (1964), Mascaret ou le Livre de la Mer et de la Mort (1966), Fusillez-moi (1970), Africaines du Temps Jadis (1976) and En Mémoire du Mémorable suivi de Jusqu’en Terre Yoruba (1979). Maunick is nominated by Ananda Devi, and his representative work is Mandéla mort et vif (1987; Eng. Mandela, Dead and Alive, 2001).

    Haruki Murakami
    Murakami, a Japanese author, has been praised by the British newspaper The Guardian as one of “the world’s greatest living novelists.” Murakami was previously nominated for the Neustadt Prize in 2008 and 2010, and he received the Frank Kafka Prize in 2006. His most recent book in English is IQ84. Murakami is up for his third nomination by Deji Olukotun, and his representative work is The Elephant Vanishes.

    Ghassan Zaqtan
    Zaqtan is the first Palestinian to be nominated for the Neustadt Prize. He is a poet, novelist and editor who has written many collections, including Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me and the play The Narrow Sea. Zaqtan is the founding director of the House of Poetry in the city of Ramallah and has served as director of the Palestine Ministry of Culture’s literature and publishing department. Zaqtan is nominated by Fady Joudah, and his representative work is Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me.
    Last edited by maidenhair; 30-Jul-2013 at 13:45.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Btw, dear idiots over at the Man Booker International Prize, please just have a look at the internationality of the selection of the Neustadt prize to get an idea what a truly international shortlist looks like!

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    And for those new to the fun, some basic info:
    Facts on the Nobel Prize (including very interesting statistics on the age of the winners)
    Nomination and selection procedure

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Skimming the Nomination Database on the Nobel webpage I am shocked by the large number of unknown writers who got nominated between 1901 and 1950 (unknown as seen from the 21st century) and how many of the giants (by today's standards) were never nominated. Please have a look for yourself, but now I wonder if it is the Nobel committee who is to blame for some of the strange selections during the first 50 years or rather the institutions, societies and individuals submitting the proposals. I really wonder who was more reactionary, the Nobel academy or the institutions...

    I hope that this has improved in the meantime... I would love to take a look at the list of nominees of recent years... well, or maybe not...

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Not too mention how popularity can wane and wax quite easily over the years. Heyse and Galsworthy were both giants in their own time. No one reads Heyse anymore, and if anyone reads Galsworthy it's because of the Forsyte television series

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by maidenhair View Post
    Skimming the Nomination Database on the Nobel webpage I am shocked by the large number of unknown writers who got nominated between 1901 and 1950 (unknown as seen from the 21st century) and how many of the giants (by today's standards) were never nominated. Please have a look for yourself, but now I wonder if it is the Nobel committee who is to blame for some of the strange selections during the first 50 years or rather the institutions, societies and individuals submitting the proposals. I really wonder who was more reactionary, the Nobel academy or the institutions...

    I hope that this has improved in the meantime... I would love to take a look at the list of nominees of recent years... well, or maybe not...
    That's why personally, I've never taken too much notice of the Nobel, it doesn't or rather, hasn't been important in informing my choice of reading. There are just too many other factors involved, including mood and personal bias, and what the cover looks like!
    "In fact nothing is said that that has not been said before." -Terence


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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Of the "true American" laureates (no Singer or Brodsky, etc), only one has won the Nobel prize without first winning the Pulitzer (William Faulkner). Two (Bellow, Hemingway) won the Nobel almost directly after nabbing the Pulitzer, and another three (Buck, Steinbeck, Morrison) arguably would not have won the Nobel had it not been for their greatest works that also got them a Pulitzer.

    Meaning if we want to guess possible American candidates, looking at past Pulitzer prize winners isn't a bad place to start.

    Roth won it, and a lot of people seem to think he's Nobel worthy. Personally I don't, but he definitely has a chance. I've heard the name N Scott Momaday thrown around a few times in regards to the Nobel. He helped usher in the Native American Literary renaissance, and I have "The House Made of Dawn" sitting on my desk, but what else has he written? Chabon is one of my favorite authors of all time, but he won't get the Nobel; pre-Kavalier and Clay, his work is too "light" for the Nobel, post-, and it tends to bite off more than it can chew, trying to be the next Count of Monte Cristo and all that. Cormac McCarthy I think would be a good choice, although he does seem a bit overhyped, and the academy hates that.

    Other possibilities:
    Junot Diaz
    Larry McMurtry
    Richard Ford
    Edward P. Jones
    Jeffrey Eugenides (although he needs a few more books under his belt)
    Marilynne Robinson
    Jhumpa Lahiri (a few years down the line she could be a viable candidate)

    Although, I think if it goes to an American, it should go to Pynchon. Great writer, and years from now, out of contemporary American novelists, he'll be the one people read the most. It's a shame he didn't get that Pulitzer. They should've just given it to him rather than not award any that year.
    Last edited by redheadshadz; 31-Jul-2013 at 02:59.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    McCarthy is a great novelist, he has written at least two monumental novels that will be cherished for many years to come. But I fear that he has been compromising his reputation the last decade or so with much less relevant novels. The upcoming film script could turn out to be a new low point in that respect. The general public only knows him for those recent books, which is a shame. I you ask me, I think his last chance for the nobel would be to bring out another 'big' novel. Rumors have it that he has been working on a book with working title 'The Passenger' for more than 15 years. It is some kind of holy grail for McCarthy's devotees. Personally, I have my doubts as he is not getting younger... do you know any writer who has published a major work in her/his 80s?

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    I'd love it to be Pynchon, but if it's going to be an 'American' this year I'd say Canada has a good shout with Margaret Atwood. She'll tick the gender box (which shouldn't matter, but probably does), she's won lots of big prizes and is widely admired, she's prolific, has written in a number of forms, and her best work shows a lot of ambition.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by anchomal View Post
    I'd love it to be Pynchon, but if it's going to be an 'American' this year I'd say Canada has a good shout with Margaret Atwood. She'll tick the gender box (which shouldn't matter, but probably does), she's won lots of big prizes and is widely admired, she's prolific, has written in a number of forms, and her best work shows a lot of ambition.
    Do you think Atwood stands a better chance than Alice Munro? I know Munro is almost exclusively a short story writer, but perhaps that might work in her favor. On a completely non-literary note that may or may not have some bearing, I think Munro's humility and down-to-earth personality also give her an edge over Atwood.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    .



    Other possibilities:
    Junot Diaz
    Larry McMurtry
    Richard Ford
    Edward P. Jones
    Jeffrey Eugenides (although he needs a few more books under his belt)
    Marilynne Robinson
    Jhumpa Lahiri (a few years down the line she could be a viable candidate)

    Although, I think if it goes to an American, it should go to Pynchon. Great writer, and years from now, of contemporary American novelists, he'll be the one most read. It's a shame he didn't get that Pulitzer. They should've just given it to him rather than not award any that year.
    John ASHBERY ; Don DeLILLO ; Paula FOX ; Joyce Carol OATES ; EL DOCTOROW...

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Ok this year I will put my money on a big big name of the world literature. So my favorites would be : Milan KUNDERA ; Salman RUSHDIE ; Haruki MURAKAMI ; Philip ROTH ; Thomas PYNCHON ; Assia DJEBAR ; ADONIS ; Amos OZ and Ko UN... Wait and see.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Of the "true American" laureates (no Singer or Brodsky, etc), only one has won the Nobel prize without first winning the Pulitzer (William Faulkner. Two (Bellow, Hemingway) won the Nobel almost directly after nabbing the Pulitzer, and another three (Buck, Steinbeck, Morrison) arguably would not have won the Nobel had it not been for their greatest works that got them the Pulitzer.

    Meaning if we want to look at possible American candidates, starting out looking at past Pulitzer prize winners isn't a bad place to start.

    Other possibilities:
    Junot Diaz
    Larry McMurtry
    Richard Ford
    Edward P. Jones
    Jeffrey Eugenides (although he needs a few more books under his belt)
    Marilynne Robinson
    Jhumpa Lahiri (a few years down the line she could be a viable candidate)

    Although, I think if it goes to an American, it should go to Pynchon. Great writer, and years from now, of contemporary American novelists, he'll be the one most read. It's a shame he didn't get that Pulitzer. They should've just given it to him rather than not award any that year.
    There are many American writers I'd like to see win the prize. Shirley Hazzard, Cynthia Ozick, Annie Dillard, Robert Coover and Thomas Pynchon foremost among them. (I'm still sore about Elkin never winning it).

    By the way, redheadhaz, good points about the Pulitzer. I'd even go as far as to say that between the Pulitzer, National and National Circle Prize winners you get a very good idea of the outstanding American fiction writers, and thus the Nobel candidates. For example, the National Book awards for fiction, up to 20 years ago:

    1964 John Updike
    1965 Saul Bellow
    1966 Katherine Anne Porter
    1967 Bernard Malamud
    1968 Thornton Wilder
    1969 Jerzy Kosinski
    1970 Joyce Carol Oates
    1971 Saul Bellow
    1972 Flannery O'Connor
    1973 John Barth
    1974 Thomas Pynchon / Isaac Bashevis Singer
    1975 Robert Stone / Thomas Williams
    1976 William Gaddis
    1977 Wallace Stegner
    1978 Mary Lee Settle
    1979 Tim O'Brien
    1980 William Styron/ John Irving
    1981 Wright Morris/ John Cheever
    1982 John Updike/ William Maxwell
    1983 Alice Walker/ Eudora Welty
    1984 Ellen Gilchrist
    1985 Don DeLillo
    1986 E.L. Doctorow
    1987 Larry Heinemann
    1988 Pete Dexter
    1989 John Casey
    1990 Charles Johnson
    1991 Norman Rush
    1992 Cormac McCarthy
    1993 E. Annie Proulx
    1994 William Gaddis
    1995 Philip Roth
    2001 Jonathan Franzen
    2003 Shirley Hazzard
    2005 William T. Vollmann
    2007 Denis Johnson
    2012 Louise Erdrich

    And the National Critics up to 20 years ago:
    1975 E.L. Doctorow
    1976 John Gardner
    1977 Toni Morrison
    1978 John Cheever
    1979 Thomas Flanagan
    1980 Shirley Hazzard
    1981 John Updike
    1982 Stanley Elkin
    1983 William Kennedy
    1984 Louise Erdrich
    1985 Anne Tyler
    1986 Reynolds Price
    1987 Philip Roth
    1988 Bharati Mukherjee
    1989 E.L. Doctorow
    1990 John Updike
    1991 Jane Smiley
    1992 Cormac McCarthy
    1993 Ernest J. Gaines
    1994 Carol Shields
    1995 Stanley Elkin
    2003 Edward P. Jones
    2004 Marilynne Robinson
    2007 Junot Diaz
    Last edited by Cleanthess; 30-Jul-2013 at 16:59.
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by maidenhair View Post
    McCarthy is a great novelist, he has written at least two monumental novels that will be cherished for many years to come. But I fear that he has been compromising his reputation the last decade or so with much less relevant novels. The upcoming film script could turn out to be a new low point in that respect. The general public only knows him for those recent books, which is a shame. I you ask me, I think his last chance for the nobel would be to bring out another 'big' novel. Rumors have it that he has been working on a book with working title 'The Passenger' for more than 15 years. It is some kind of holy grail for McCarthy's devotees. Personally, I have my doubts as he is not getting younger... do you know any writer who has published a major work in her/his 80s?
    I don't think that McCarthy has anything to prove yet. His early works are well enough to make him deserving of any literary prize. Unfortunately what you say it's true, the Swedish Academy evaluates everything and if the latest works are not top quality or doesn't match the early gems of the writer they opt to give the prize to another writer they think it's at the pinnacle of his career.
    When Saramago was about to get the prize in 1998, the committee was very pleased with his more recent novel translated, Blindness. However, in the summer, All the Names came out in Portugual, so they assigned someone to translate the book to see if this was any good. This is proof they are really careful to give the award, probably to maintain quality for the laureates (not that they've always achieved it).

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie B View Post
    Do you think Atwood stands a better chance than Alice Munro? I know Munro is almost exclusively a short story writer, but perhaps that might work in her favor. On a completely non-literary note that may or may not have some bearing, I think Munro's humility and down-to-earth personality also give her an edge over Atwood.
    Alice Munro writes beautiful stories, and would be a good choice, maybe a better choice. I prefer reading her books than Atwood's. When Atwood is good she is very good indeed, but she doesn't always do it for me. But I just feel that she is one of those writers who tick all the boxes, in the same way that Mario Vargas Llosa did. She takes on big subjects, has a political side and speaks out about things like the environment, and (since it seems like a sticking point as far as American candidates are concerned) can probably be viewed as being involved in the big conversation of literature (whatever that means).
    Also, I wonder if the International Booker win will be held against Alice Munro. Also, if the prize is going to recognise the short story, I'd like to see it given to William Trevor, who in my opinion is at least as deserving.

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