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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

  1. #201
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Septularisen View Post
    This men would be a great Nobel, but still a little early for the spanish language after Mario VARGAS LLOSA...
    Another great spanish Nobel prize would be Antonio MUNOZ MOLINA...
    And why not Juan GELMAN from Argentina?... but he is now 83 years old!...
    If you have to award a Latin American poet there are three names way above the rest: Nicanor Parra, José Emilio Pacheco and the above mentioned Juan Gelman.
    Many would toss the name of Ernesto Cardenal to the list but I really can't say because I haven't read him,

  2. #202
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    If you have to award a Latin American poet there are three names way above the rest: Nicanor Parra, José Emilio Pacheco and the above mentioned Juan Gelman.
    Many would toss the name of Ernesto Cardenal to the list but I really can't say because I haven't read him,
    I have a feeling if it goes to another poet, it will be Ali Ahmad Said Esber, aka Adonis. I wonder if the mess in Syria will have any impact on his consideration, one way or the other.

  3. #203
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    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).
    I wonder if this is really true. If so, it could explain why Roth's candidacy seems to have taken a hit. His last 4/5 works -including Indignation, The Humbling, Nemesis - were very mehh.

  4. #204

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Hrabal78 View Post
    I wonder if this is really true. If so, it could explain why Roth's candidacy seems to have taken a hit. His last 4/5 works -including Indignation, The Humbling, Nemesis - were very mehh.
    I can't vouch for the specifics, of course, but I know that the Swedish Academy is requesting translations of works by laureates when the works aren't available in any languages that the academy can read.
    Last edited by pinkunicorn; 14-Sep-2013 at 10:28. Reason: typo

  5. #205
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    In their write up of the Ladbrokes odds, the Literary Saloon has pointed out a name that was mentioned briefly last year and so far I haven't seen this time around: Dacia Maraini. The article makes it sound like she first featured prominently in the betting scene last year, when Mo Yan making the short list was leaked, so it's likely that she also made the short list, and possibly made it again. Has anyone read her or heard of her? She sounds like a promising candidate (and is also a woman!), and Italy hasn't gotten a laureate in quite some time. My school library unfortunately doesn't have any of her books (it also looks like hardly any of them have been translated into English).

    http://www.complete-review.com/saloo...01309a.htm#it3

    Edit: I originally spelled her name wrong, the way they spell it in the article. It's Dacia, not Darcia, and it seems like she actually has a handful of books in English and my library has them, so I'm going to read her and see how she is.
    Maraini, and I think I'm getting this right, was mistress (I know that's an unfashionable word now) or perhaps wife to Italian writer Alberto Moravia, as was (not concurrently, I don't think), another prominent Italian writer, the once somewhat-overrated but now largely unread Elsa Morante. Morante and Moravia were prominent so long ago that it surprises me to note that Maraini, at least until recently, was still writing. As a child, her family--her father was an ethnologist, I think--moved to Japan. When Italy surrendered to the Allies in September 1943, the authorities in Imperial Japan demanded an oath of loyalty from her father. Since he refused, the entire family was interned until after the end of the war.

    I've tried two of Maraini's books: La nave per Kobe and Dolce per sé. I found neither compelling, giving up both after about ten or fifteen pages each. If you are interested in her work, though, I wouldn't let my experience dissuade you, as I am merciless about casting aside books I don't find immediately engrossing.

  6. #206
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Hrabal78 View Post
    Personally, I think Munro is a much stronger candidate. I know that Atwood has done everything, from poetry to novels, in large quantities, but that is just it. She is sort of like Oates, quantity over quality. She has some ok stuff but most of what I've read from Atwood is not particularly memorable. She certainly does have recognition for her large and varied body of work but Munro is an absolute master at her craft. Munro only has one equal that I can think of, William Trevor. The two stand head and shoulders above everyone else in recent memory when it comes to the short story form. I think Munro would be a solid choice for several reasons: (1) an absolute master when it comes to the short story form, (2) it would be great if the short story form received recognition on the international scene (it seems to be the ugly bastard sibling of the novel, always looming in the shadow of the novel), (3) she is a woman, (4) hails from Canada (which usually does not get much love).
    Both Munro and Trevor can be very good indeed, but if you can say that they stand head and shoulders over anybody else working in the short-story form, it's probably that you're not reading widely in languages other than English. As tellers of short tales, for instance, Julio R. Ribeyro and Siegfried Lenz, it seems to me, are every bit as good as, if not better than, Munro and Trevor. Very few of the short stories of those two masters of the form have been published in English, and Lenz is perhaps not recognized for his short stories because he also happens to be an excellent novelist. He's still alive, too, and thus qualifies for the Nobel, but he's not even mentioned on that betting list, unless I just missed his name (I find his work far more enjoyable than that of H. Böll or G. Grass, two fairly recent German Nobel laureates).

    If, God help us all, one of the members of that revolving American triumvirate--it seems to be McCarthy, Oates, Roth for now--whose names always crop up this time of year, or that bore Margaret Atwood, for that matter, wins the prize, I'll be thrown into despair. No, on second thought, I'll be grateful. I'll have the best possible excuse to immediately turn away from the Nobel Prize circus. I'm sure I won't miss it in the slightest.

  7. #207
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Both Munro and Trevor can be very good indeed, but if you can say that they stand head and shoulders over anybody else working in the short-story form, it's probably that you're not reading widely in languages other than English. As tellers of short tales, for instance, Julio R. Ribeyro and Siegfried Lenz, it seems to me, are every bit as good as, if not better than, Munro and Trevor.
    Well, Ribeyro is dead, so don't expect to see his name sneaking this thread. If there was a personal favorite who should have won this prize for his short stories alone, it was Antonio Tabucchi. So sad we lost him so early.

  8. #208

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkunicorn View Post
    I can't vouch for the specifics, of course, but I know that the Swedish Academy is requesting translations of works by laureates when the works aren't available in any languages that the academy can read.
    And what languages can they read?

  9. #209
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Completely agree. Most people know Eco as a novel writer, and that is completely false. Eco is a semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic, and at the end the list, novelist. His novels are another path he uses to translate his ideas and deliver them to readers.

    Awarding Eco would be to award not only a writer but the figure of an intellectual, the closest thing we have to wise men from ancient times. Probably the last laureate of this characteristics was Elias Canetti.
    I agree, I like the idea of the Prize going to a well recognized, old-fashioned, "Man of Letters", a writer not confined to a specific genre. Eco would be such a candidate as would Peter Ackroyd. He is a poet, novelist, essayist, biographer, and more recently ambitious historian. Writing is his life. I admire this rare breed of English generalist who sweep the whole world up in their musings. One such was Anthony Burgess whom I wish had been awarded the prize prior to his death in 1993. Like Ackroyd his interests were catholic (lower case), appears to have read everything important ever written, and always had something interesting to add or say in a unique way.

    Here's a timely piece from the NY times on Ackroyd, currently embarked on a comprehensive history of Albion:

    http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2...ondon-calling/

  10. #210

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by lhsl View Post
    And what languages can they read?
    Very good question - can anyone answer that?

  11. #211
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    w/r/t the "nonfiction" discussion you were having a couple of pages back:

    http://www.worldliteratureforum.com/...3808#post73808

    From 2010. Hobsbawm died last year. All the others are still alive I think.

  12. #212
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by lhsl View Post
    And what languages can they read?
    Probably not English, .

  13. #213
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    I've had a change of Heart about Momaday. House Made of Dawn is a bizarre novel, but it is one that stays with you long after you've finished it. I felt compelled to look up various interpretations of the novel and folklore of Momaday's tribe, and it makes sense now. It's less of a novel in the traditional sense and more of an oral epic in book form, if that makes any sense. I've read a few of his other works, and although it's unlikely, I wish he would win the prize, he is a great writer, constantly exploring different methods of writing.

    Also, what about Peter Matthiessen? He's pretty old (86, I think), and other than Shadow Country I'm not sure how good his novels are, but his works of non-fiction are amazing. He's a dedicated environmentalist, which might get him on the good side of the Academy.
    Last edited by redheadshadz; 18-Sep-2013 at 22:58.

  14. #214
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by lhsl View Post
    And what languages can they read?
    Hey. I’ve been coming here about this time of the year for quite some time now, eavesdropping on your entertaining Nobel speculations, getting reading tips and contemplating from time to time to join in. The question of language skills within the Swedish Academy was what finally got me.

    I’m certain that all of them, like most Swedish intellectuals, would manage texts in Danish and Norwegian (and some perhaps even in Icelandic). Quite a few studied Scandinavian languages at university (Bo Ralph, Sture Allén, Anders Olsson, Gunnel Vallquist) and a couple are or were professors in this discipline (Ralph, Allén, Tomas Riad).

    Of course, most members of the Academy are well versed in English, and many of them spent considerable time in English-speaking parts of the world, such as the U.K. (Riad), the U.S. (Olsson, Per Wästberg, Riad, Jesper Svenbro) and southern Africa (Wästberg).

    I would imagine that several members read German, as it has been the first or second foreign language of Swedish schools during most of the past century and since Swedish culture has close ties to German since forever; at least Olsson and Horace Engdahl have lived in Germany. Engdahl, by the way, studied Russian as an interpreter for the army.

    French seems to be one of the current Academy’s strengths. Vallquist, a student of Romance languages, resided for long periods of time in France and Italy and has been one of the most prolific translators of French literature into Swedish. Svenbro studied classical languages, and today he pursues a scientific career within this field in France, where he wrote his thesis (on ancient Greek poetics) in French. Riad was partly brought up in his father’s native Egypt, but his parents spoke French at home, and it seems he doesn’t speak Arabic; on the other hand, he studied English and Irish at university. The latest addition to the Academy, Sara Danius (who will join the others in December and take part in the Nobel discussions from next year onwards) is an authority on French literature.

    Like Svenbro (but before him), Göran Malmqvist studied Latin and ancient Greek, but has since devoted his entire life to the study of Chinese. (He was the one who made exclusive translations of Mo Yan’s works for the Academy prior to his getting the prize.) Malmqvist was born in 1924, so it will be interesting in a couple of years to see if the Academy can fill the Chinese gap after him, or if they will beef up in some other area.

    Sorry about the lengthiness (though this surely isn’t a complete rundown), I guess I got a bit carried away when, at last, I dared to join this conversation…

  15. #215

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    In a recent discussion about his poetry cycle "Vintergata" (Lend Me Your Voice, Marick Press 2010) Kjell Espmark – Chair 16 of the Swedish Academy – remarked that the South-Korean poet Ko Un had told him that he had also been inspired by "Anthologia Graeca". Is that a sign of Ko Un getting closer to the big prize?

    Also, a name absent from the Ladbrokes list but frequently mentioned by the Swedish literati as a strong contender for the Nobel Prize is Svetlana Alexievitch.
    Last edited by Tagalong; 19-Sep-2013 at 02:04.

  16. #216
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post

    Also, what about Peter Matthiessen? He's pretty old (86, I think), and other than Shadow Country I'm not sure how good his novels are, but his works of non-fiction are amazing. He's a dedicated environmentalist, which might get him on the good side of the Academy.
    I enjoyed Matthiessen's novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord as well as his non-fiction book Indian Country. His credentials are impeccable - a three-time winner of the National Book Award who also co-founded The Paris Review. Not sure he's published much in the past decade, but it seems like he would have been a good candidate in his younger years.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie B View Post
    I enjoyed Matthiessen's novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord as well as his non-fiction book Indian Country. His credentials are impeccable - a three-time winner of the National Book Award who also co-founded The Paris Review. Not sure he's published much in the past decade, but it seems like he would have been a good candidate in his younger years.
    In 2008 his novel Shadow Country was published and won the NBA for that year. I have a feeling that despite it's mammoth length it will be his enduring work. It's a shame it came out when he was 81, I feel like if it had been published earlier he could have been one of the strongest candidates around.

  18. #218

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    After a week of no movement in the odds that I've seen, Assia Djebar has now fallen from 14 to 10. As a coincidence, I'm currently halfway through her novel _Ombre sultane_ (although in Swedish).

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Inferus: Thank you for your recent post. I found it quite informative. The Swedish Academy is indeed a highly interesting group of authors. It would be wonderful to see them interact in an interview or conference. To get a glimpse of their insights on how literature is coping with our current world.

    For years I've been mistaken, believing that Sven Lindqvist was a member. He would make a wonderful addition to the current Academy.
    Last edited by Gabriel; 19-Sep-2013 at 15:41.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkunicorn View Post
    After a week of no movement in the odds that I've seen, Assia Djebar has now fallen from 14 to 10. As a coincidence, I'm currently halfway through her novel _Ombre sultane_ (although in Swedish).
    What do you think of Djebar? I read Women of Algiers in Their Apartments over the summer and while at first I thought she'd be a good candidate, now I'm not so sure. The prose was excellent, but everything else...just seemed underwhelming. Then again I am a white male American college student, so I couldn't relate to most of the stories. According to wikipedia none of her really major works have been translated into English. Is the book you're reading good?

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