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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    My picks:

    Javier Marías - I haven't read The Infatuations, but everything else I have read (almost all) suggest he is sufficiently weighty for the Prize. He also happens to be extremely readable, and I have had a lot of success with his books with various non-readers in my life (all female, curiously - they seem to really like his writing).

    Enrique Vila-Matas - He may be too gimmicky for the Prize, though I think he is a deserving enough winner on his own, with also the benefit of being a surrogate for Borges if needed. A great writer, truly a reader's writer in the finest sense of the idea.

    Milan Kundera - I don't think he will win it (if he was going to, it would have happened in the early 90s?), but much of his writing holds up, and some of his books are just wonderful (The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Immortality, The Joke).

    Most of the other authors I would have liked to win the prize are dead. I wouldn't be unhappy if they won: Dubravka Ugrešić, Gerald Murnane, Antonio Lobo Antunes, Ismail Kadare, Gonçalo M Tavares
    My Website - book reviews and literary essays.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    The two Spaniards are very solid writers, at a good age with a lot of works published and in the best years of their writing career. Unfortunately I don't think the Swedish Academy will give the prize back to Spanish language so soon after MVLL in 2010.
    With Kundera, I agree with you, although he deserves it, don't think he'll win it in his eighties. There are just a few writers who were awarded after 80.

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Here are some facts that backup my last statement:

    Only 18 of 106 laureates have been 75 or +. That's only 17%

    If this tendency stays, the follow list of great great writers will not win the Nobel Prize:

    Cees Nooteboom
    Adonis
    Ko Un
    Ismail Kadare
    Philip Roth
    Cormac McCarthy
    Alice Munro
    Assia Djebar
    Thomas Pynchon
    Umberto Eco
    Don DeLillo
    Yves Bonnefoy
    Milan Kundera
    John Ashbery
    Juan Goytisolo
    William Trevor

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Unfortunately I don't think the Swedish Academy will give the prize back to Spanish language so soon after MVLL in 2010.
    Eh, you never know. They've given it to a lot of English language writers in the past 20 years (Gordimer, Walcott, and Morrison all won it back to back, and then they took a gap year before awarding it to Heaney), and also Camilo Cela and Octavio Paz won it back to back years in the late 80s.

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Oh, my picks were more hopeful than what I think will occur. Cees Nooteboom is another great pick - I forget about him every year, though I really like his work.

    I also quite like Juan Goytisolo, though I haven't read enough in English to really make a solid judgement. What I've read I like, but I have enormous gaps in my reading. I have a few books of his in Spanish, but they are far, far above my current proficiency level.
    My Website - book reviews and literary essays.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Hey, don't be too hard on yourself Damian. Juan Goytisolo is a challenge even for us native Spanish speakers. I've tried and failed twice on Don Julián, hopefully a a third will be the good one

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    It's definitely an ambition of mine.

    I find Bolaño's stories are generally manageable, and I have dipped into Vila-Matas' Dietario voluble, which I have enjoyed. Baby steps and all that.

    If you have any suggestions for good Spanish literature that is manageable for someone who has been studying at University and whose level is "equivalent to the "B 2 Vantage level" of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages" (as according to my university!), it would be greatyl appreciated.
    My Website - book reviews and literary essays.

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    I don't know Spanish but from my experience with English and French, B2 is a good enough level to start reading literature. It will be hard in the beginning but if you stick with it, it'll become easier. At this level you need to have contact with native materials to improve your vocabulary.

  9. #49

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Damian Kelleher View Post
    Cees Nooteboom is another great pick - I forget about him every year, though I really like his work.
    I just happened upon one of his books in a charity shop, hope he's as good as everyone says he is!

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Elie View Post
    I just happened upon one of his books in a charity shop, hope he's as good as everyone says he is!
    What book is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Damian Kelleher View Post
    It's definitely an ambition of mine.

    I find Bolaño's stories are generally manageable, and I have dipped into Vila-Matas' Dietario voluble, which I have enjoyed. Baby steps and all that.

    If you have any suggestions for good Spanish literature that is manageable for someone who has been studying at University and whose level is "equivalent to the "B 2 Vantage level" of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages" (as according to my university!), it would be greatyl appreciated.
    Well, Marías could be a good intermediate step. There are also a lot of linguistic variants between Spain & Latin American, and in LA there's a lot more, but generally, out of some terms only used in a country, everything is readable.

  11. #51
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    I don't know Spanish but from my experience with English and French, B2 is a good enough level to start reading literature. It will be hard in the beginning but if you stick with it, it'll become easier. At this level you need to have contact with native materials to improve your vocabulary.
    You are correct, and as I said, I am reading "real" Spanish as opposed to the very structured class material. Vocabulary is certainly a big issue, which is why I enjoy reading cooking/recipe websites in particular.

    I've dabbled with Vila-Matas and Bolaño, and I own Tu rostro mañana in Spanish and English. I'll push on forward and see how it goes, so thanks for the advice.

  12. #52

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    What book is it?
    It's called In The Dutch Mountains. I've never heard of it, but it was only £1.50.

  13. #53

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    And as for who I think is deserving - no new names from me I don't think, but any of Milan Kundera, Assia Djebar, Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCarthy, Ismail Kadare, Ngugi wa Thiong'o or Nuruddin Farah would be great choices in my opinion.

    But then it'll be good if a writer I've never read wins too, because we put aside a month in our book club to do the latest Nobel winner. So really, as long as they don't go out of their minds and choose Bob Dylan, can't go too far wrong

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    I'm still scratching my head about the whole Bob Dylan thing-ma-bob, still can't quite see where that came from?
    "In fact nothing is said that that has not been said before." -Terence


  15. #55

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    As far as I know his name only ever comes up because people will insist on betting on him. I've only really been paying attention to the Nobel since about 2008, though, so there might be something else.

  16. #56
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    I believe there's a bit more to it than that. We know that he does get nominated on a regular basis (because those who have nominated him have been quite vocal about it), so he at least has a theoretical shot. I always used to wonder why writers like James Joyce, Joseph Conrad or Mark Twain never won, but from sifting through the nominations database it seems they were never even nominated. If you're not in, you can't win. (Of course, even if you are in, you probably won't.)

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    It always bugs me when people say Joyce was robbed of a Nobel. It makes me wonder if they've looked at his oeuvre. He has a few collections of half way decent poems, a crappy play, 2 amazing novels, and whatever you want to call Finnegans Wake. By the time he was old enough to really be considered for the prize, he was putting all of his efforts in Finnegans Wake. If that wouldn't have made the academy not want to give it to him, his small and often inconsistent in terms of quality body of work would have.

    And no, he could not have won it for Ulysses alone. If you look at the candidates who had a single work of theirs singled out when they won, all of them had lots of other quality works under their belt (the only exception is Sholokhov, who won more for politics anyway). Joyce had A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, while everything else he published arguably wasn't Nobel quality.

    EDIT: I forgot about Dubliners. Truth be told, I found most of the short stories in there to be terrible, but there's no denying that the stories are very influential. So Joyce did have a body of work big enough to win. But I still think the Nobel wouldn't have gone to him had he been nominated. The academy seems to care a lot about authors' recent works, and like I stated, by the time Joyce would have been old enough to win (Ulysses was finished when he was only 40!) he would have been deep into Finnegans Wake, and I don't think the traditionally conservative Academy would look too fondly on that.
    Last edited by redheadshadz; 13-Aug-2013 at 01:09.

  18. #58
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    And no, he could not have won it for Ulysses alone. If you look at the candidates who had a single work of theirs singled out when they won, all of them had lots of other quality works under their belt (the only exception is Sholokhov, who won more for politics anyway). Joyce had A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, while everything else he published arguably wasn't Nobel quality.
    Yeah, right, he only had one of the most famous story collections of the 20th century under his belt...

    So just for fun, lets compare this to Thomas Mann (Nobel prize 1929): two monumental novels (Buddenbrooks, Zauberberg), one crap novel (Königliche Hoheit) and a bunch of fantastic short stories and novellas. Not much of a difference there, is it?

    I think the point with Joyce is that he never got nominated by the fucking institutions in Ireland, the UK or the US just because his Ulysses was deemed obscene at the time, just because all those people in power were bourgeois pricks.
    Last edited by maidenhair; 11-Aug-2013 at 20:20.

  19. #59

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    As we've had laureates from South America, Sweden and Asia in the last three years I suppose that Africa or North America are next in line as these parts of the world that haven't been rewarded for a long time. And as we haven't had a female winner for three years in a row I suppose that we might have one this year. Most probable: Assia Djebar, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oates. I'd say that Djebar and Atwood are over Munro (she's over 80 already) and Oates (as we know not all members of the Academy cherish literature from the United States :P ).

  20. #60
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2013 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by anchomal View Post
    I always used to wonder why writers like James Joyce, Joseph Conrad or Mark Twain never won, but from sifting through the nominations database it seems they were never even nominated. If you're not in, you can't win.
    EXACTLY, there are more giants who never got nominated, e.g. Chekhov and Proust (of course these two also died quite young, so nobody can be blamed really).
    Last edited by maidenhair; 11-Aug-2013 at 21:03.

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