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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

  1. #81
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by nagisa View Post
    I've read quite a bit of Murakami as well (in Japanese), and I can assure you, as I said at length before, it is not that high quality and the bits that were original (in say 羊をめぐる冒険 A Wild Sheep's Chase) have long since been recycled endlessly and tiresomely in his later novels. Quite a few Japanese literary critics are baffled at the world literati's Murakami-mania. (And then there's the issue that his translations from English all uniformly smack of his own lackluster style.) If Murakami does get the Nobel, it will be a very weak year indeed and will be remembered with the same scorn as Pearl Buck.

    The difference between Murakami and the Nobel-winning authors you cite who "pandered to the masses" is that.... they didn't pander (no, not even Mo Yan). Why on earth would you think these outstanding authors "pander"? They were and are popular because of the qualities of their work, not because they were self-consciously pandering. If you can't see the difference, I'm afraid it's beyond me to explain.
    I still say that I do not perceive how Hauruki MURAKAMI "pandered to the masses" ... It pousuit his work and ... that's it!
    Or how it is very different from Mo YAN example? ... And besides why would he do a l"weak year" Nobel?
    Either way, you have your opinion and I have mine, and as you said yourself it is useless to try to convince the other.
    I think in the near future we'll both have the answer to our questions ... Maybe this year...

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Hrabal78 View Post
    Completely agree with this. Honestly, I was not really aware of Herta Muller until she won the Nobel, and I have read quite a bit of lit out of eastern Europe. I am glad that I was acquainted with her works because I think they are fantastic.
    Exactly the same for me!...

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleanthess View Post
    Sorry to butt in, but maybe I can suggest Nelida Piñon?
    Not a bad pick!...
    I can propose the names of Mrs. Renée FERRER De ARRÉLLAGA, (Born 1944) from Paraguay,
    or Mrs. Griselda GAMBARO, (Born 1928) from Argentina.
    Let's see Daniel pick...

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by spacepirate View Post
    [/COLOR]



    Why contradict yourself utterly here? By your logic does Murakami deserves the Nobel because he is universally popular ... or because he is too unknown outside of Japan? As it stands, like I said and will repeat again, popularity does not equal universality. The writings of Lessing and Tranströmer are able to affect on a global level - Murakami, though much more widely read, does nothing to prove himself worthy of Nobel's original 'outstanding work in an ideal direction.' Unless, of course, that direction includes talking cats and American Jazz.

    I am not a fervent hater by any means, enjoying somewhat the books I have already read, but any serious arguments related to his win is laughable when you take into account the countless other more deserved writers who have not received it yet.
    In fact Mr. Haruki Murakami will won the Nobel for ... both reasons! ... Because that is very famous in Japan but not enough outside Japan, despite its popularity ...

    Exactly the same reason why Mr. Tomas TRASTRÖMER to receive the Nobel Prize. Honestly, except some great poetry lovers, who knew him and knew his beautiful work, before it receives the Nobel?

    I understand that you don't take much on consideration Mr. Murakami's writings, but I assure you it is one of the most original and inventive writers of our time, and that's probably why the Nobel will reward him! ...

    In the other hand I agree with you when you say that popularity is not the equal of the universality and there are many other writers who have not yet received the Award ... but please don't forget that there are about 250 candidates each year ... and only a Nobel Prize! ...
    The story of the Nobel Prize is full of writers never received the award!...

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Septularisen View Post
    I still say that I do not perceive how Hauruki MURAKAMI "pandered to the masses" ... It pousuit his work and ... that's it!
    Or how it is very different from Mo YAN example? ... And besides why would he do a l"weak year" Nobel?
    Either way, you have your opinion and I have mine, and as you said yourself it is useless to try to convince the other.
    I think in the near future we'll both have the answer to our questions ... Maybe this year...
    The other forum members and I have given you many reasons for why we believe Murakami does not deserve the Nobel (formulaic plots, cardboard characters, pedestrian prose, no greater "ideal" vision, global marketing strategy, etc). Maybe you should try giving us your reasons for believing that he does.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Ferreira Gullar is really average, there is like 30 years since he does not publish anything worth of note...
    Not true. There was a very good book of poetry in 1987, "Barulhos" ("Noises"). I don't like "Muitas Vozes" from 1999 ("Many Voices"), altough is quite respected, but I think his last work, "Em alguma parte alguma" ("In someplace some", I think) is a great book, probably his best since "Poema Sujo". Besides that, he wrote tons of essays during that time, and some very fine children's books.

    About Murakami - I quite enjoy his work, but I don't see him as a laureate. Only if in his last works, "1Q84" and the last one "Colorless etc.", something really changed in his writing.

    Nelida Piñon... can't see that coming, but who knows? Her father was a Galician immigrant (like mine ) so I would be happy!

    I admit I would like to see another poet or a playwriter winning.

  7. #87

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    I'm surprised every year that I see this conversation pop up suggesting Murakami deserves a Nobel Prize. I just don't see it. To my mind he is less deserving than, say, Atwood, whose work I find just a little too self-aware to be completely enjoyable or fascinating.

    I've read three books by Murakami - two novels and a short story collection. The short story collection was the best work, with one story - I forget the name of it off-hand - being particularly strong. None, though, have arrested me in the same way that the works of many Nobel winners have managed to. Norwegian Wood was enjoyable, but nothing special. Kafka on the Shore was either very poorly written or very poorly translated, and its characters were shallow, and its plotline seemed half-baked. The magical elements surrounding the mountain could have been handled much better to add to this modern-day fable kind of idea he was trying to make. After the Quake had some interesting ideas, some fascinating moments even, but these short stories never developed to the point where I cared at all about the people affected by the quake. Which is weird, given how personal and sad the events were.

    I suppose, ultimately, it feels like Murakami is underdeveloped and isn't getting pressured to develop any further because he is made oblivious to his own failures as a writer (granted, I say this without having heard any interviews with him, so maybe this isn't the case).

    Regardless, the more I think about it, the less I think that the prize will go to a novelist this year. I suspect that it is time for a playwriter to get it. If it goes to a novelist, I would like to see Rushdie get it. Or Ngugi. Or or or. I've already made a list, though I think Rushdie is more than deserving at this point. Maybe since Fury was so poorly received the Academy is waiting for him to release something to make up for it? I suppose that is a possibility.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    It's interesting to see Rushdie pop up again. From what I read he was a chronic favorite, even being name-dropped by the Nobel jury when they chose Dario Fo; and conversely, he has quite a few detractors. I've read his two magna opera, Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses and was quite impressed by both (and unimpressed by the criticism lobbed at the latter), but I understand his other work is uneven ?

  9. #89

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by nagisa View Post
    It's interesting to see Rushdie pop up again. From what I read he was a chronic favorite, even being name-dropped by the Nobel jury when they chose Dario Fo; and conversely, he has quite a few detractors. I've read his two magna opera, Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses and was quite impressed by both (and unimpressed by the criticism lobbed at the latter), but I understand his other work is uneven ?
    I think those are his two unquestionable masterpieces. Shalimar the Clown and The Moor's Last Sigh are both also very very strong, and The Ground Beneath Her Feet is as well. The Enchantress of Florence is not quite so strong, but it is still quite good. Fury, Shame, and Grimus are less strong. Grimus and Shame are worth reading, but Fury - unless you are interested in studying how to write a really compelling character - is not worth your time. His short stories in East, West range from good to outstanding, and I find his nonfiction to be entirely on point and well-engaged with the world. His two stories for children, Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Luka and the Fire of Life, are perfect for their audience. He is an author that I have come to admire both for his stylings as well as for his passions.

    Unfortunately, he isn't buzzed about so much anymore. The 80s and 90s were his best period, and I do wonder if he has become too caught up in the events of the world to release something quite as strong as his middle-career work. That said, I would be thrilled to find that in a year or two he publishes a great novel again. With his imagination and intelligence I would not be surprised.

    I mean, Midnight's Children is such an incredible feat in and of itself. The sort that would, in the early twentieth century, receive some kind of special notation in the Nobel citation.

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by nagisa View Post
    It's interesting to see Rushdie pop up again. From what I read he was a chronic favorite, even being name-dropped by the Nobel jury when they chose Dario Fo; and conversely, he has quite a few detractors. I've read his two magna opera, Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses and was quite impressed by both (and unimpressed by the criticism lobbed at the latter), but I understand his other work is uneven ?
    Uneven works should not be a problem to win the Nobel; there is García Márquez to prove it.
    Same happens to Murakami. Not all his works are great, but I'd be more than glad if he wins it just for three novels: Hard Boiled-Wonderland and the End of the World, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle & Kafka on the Shore.The rest is good also but it comes a lesser quality. If only he would've known how to end 1Q84 in a decent way...

    Quote Originally Posted by OverTheMountains View Post
    I think those are his two unquestionable masterpieces.
    Don't forget about Shame, it is an incredible novel too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septularisen View Post
    Not a bad pick!...
    I can propose the names of Mrs. Renée FERRER De ARRÉLLAGA, (Born 1944) from Paraguay,
    or Mrs. Griselda GAMBARO, (Born 1928) from Argentina.
    Let's see Daniel pick...
    To be honest I do not have a name to toss in here. In fact it's the first time I've heard about those two ladies. Piñón, of course, but I haven't read her.

    Probably ehmmm... Laura Restrepo? I've only read one of her novels and it was good.

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Probably ehmmm... Laura Restrepo? I've only read one of her novels and it was good.
    I've read "Delirio" and I was impressed. But nothing else from her.

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    There are Nobel Prize winners who are directly aligned to your own tastes and predilections when it comes to literature - I think here, for me, of Hamsun, Mann, Hesse, Le Clezio, Saramago, Lagerkvist, Vargas Llosa. There are Nobel Prize winners who aren't to your tastes but you can understand why they won - for me, Munro, Lessing, Naipaul, Grass.

    The first grouping is obviously the most exciting, and it serves to vindicate your own taste in literature. These are the easiest writers to feel pleased about.

    The second grouping is more difficult, as inevitably their win means that one of "your" writers missed out. But, like I've said, though a Munro or a Grass isn't for me, I completely understand their win, and support the recognition of them as a writer of immense stature.

    Murakami, among some others mentioned in this thread, would fit into neither group for me. I have read I think five of his books, or 5.5 if you include the abandoned 1Q84, and while his writing is fine, I don't think there is anything weighty there, and I definitely agree that he is "safe exoticism" for middle class American/British/Australian readers who consider themselves sufficiently worldly to be "done" with the Iowa Writers' Workshop school of literature. A smug individual can very piously announce that they "love" Japanese literature after reading a book or two of Murakami and, of course, it goes without saying, nobody else.

    I don't think that writing the same kind of book over and over again is necessarily a weakness (plenty of writers do that), but Murakami's schtick is particularly light weight and not very interesting. Ephemeral weirdness can be interesting, but there needs to be something behind it, something that makes the oddities worth slogging through.

    Stylistically I find his writing incredibly simplistic, and I suspect that the reason he is so widely admired by English readers is due to him writing at the exact level of sophistication to ensure that the highest number of people will "get" him. I don't know if this is a conscious choice or a limitation of his skill, but given that he is so commercially successful, I suspect it could be a conscious choice (writing for the market, as it were).

    For all the mistakes that the Nobel Committee have made over the years (which are primarily mistakes of omission), I cannot imagine they would ever award Murakami. He doesn't stand up against the 10 most recent winners by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't think his brand (for it is a brand) will survive long after his retirement or death, when the publishing houses no longer have a "new Murakami!" to spruik.

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vazquez View Post
    I've read "Delirio" and I was impressed. But nothing else from her.
    That's the one I read.

  14. #94

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Damian Kelleher View Post
    For all the mistakes that the Nobel Committee have made over the years (which are primarily mistakes of omission), I cannot imagine they would ever award Murakami. He doesn't stand up against the 10 most recent winners by any stretch of the imagination
    Per Wästberg born in 1933, Kjell Espmark born in 1930, Katarina Frostenson born in 1953, Kristina Lugn born in 1948, Horace Engdahl born in 1948, Peter Englund born in 1957. They are writers, literary historians, critics and have long-lasting experience in high-quality literature. It would be suprising for them to award such a pulp fiction writer as Murakami.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Justareader View Post
    Per Wästberg born in 1933, Kjell Espmark born in 1930, Katarina Frostenson born in 1953, Kristina Lugn born in 1948, Horace Engdahl born in 1948, Peter Englund born in 1957. They are writers, literary historians, critics and have long-lasting experience in high-quality literature. It would be suprising for them to award such a pulp fiction writer as Murakami.
    Some of Murakami's works are high-quality literature. (Note that I made a point of using the word "some".)

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Murakami may be uneven, but plenty of other potential Nobel candidates are as well, like Vollmann, who this board likes to trot out as America's next laureate. I think Murakami is an unlikely pick, but I don't think he can be so easily written off.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Per Wästberg born in 1933, Kjell Espmark born in 1930, Katarina Frostenson born in 1953, Kristina Lugn born in 1948, Horace Engdahl born in 1948, Peter Englund born in 1957. They are writers, literary historians, critics and have long-lasting experience in high-quality literature. It would be suprising for them to award such a pulp fiction writer as Murakami.
    Yes, my entire post agrees with all of that, so I'm not sure what you are driving at unless to say that you agree with me, too?

    Regarding Vollmann, I think he is one of the more interesting American writers (I am currently very much his novel Imperial), but I agree that he is too uneven to earn the Nobel.

    I suppose I should include some writers who I think deserve it:

    Antonio Lobo Antunes
    Milan Kundera
    Laszlo Krasznahorkai
    Peter Nadas
    Claudio Magris
    Cees Nooteboom

    Which is a depressingly "safe" list, though I suppose I can put that down to my favoured writers all being dead.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Damian Kelleher View Post
    Yes, my entire post agrees with all of that, so I'm not sure what you are driving at unless to say that you agree with me, too?

    Regarding Vollmann, I think he is one of the more interesting American writers (I am currently very much his novel Imperial), but I agree that he is too uneven to earn the Nobel.

    I suppose I should include some writers who I think deserve it:

    Antonio Lobo Antunes
    Milan Kundera
    Laszlo Krasznahorkai
    Peter Nadas
    Claudio Magris
    Cees Nooteboom

    Which is a depressingly "safe" list, though I suppose I can put that down to my favoured writers all being dead.
    I agree with you, especially with regard to the two stunning Hungarians (Krasznahorkai and Nadas).

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Probably ehmmm... Laura Restrepo? I've only read one of her novels and it was good.
    Great pick Daniel!...

  20. #100

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Damian Kelleher View Post
    Yes, my entire post agrees with all of that, so I'm not sure what you are driving at unless to say that you agree with me, too? Regarding Vollmann, I think he is one of the more interesting American writers (I am currently very much his novel Imperial), but I agree that he is too uneven to earn the Nobel. I suppose I should include some writers who I think deserve it: Antonio Lobo Antunes Milan Kundera Laszlo Krasznahorkai Peter Nadas Claudio Magris Cees Nooteboom Which is a depressingly "safe" list, though I suppose I can put that down to my favoured writers all being dead.
    I agree with you. Any of them would be a strong Nobel winner. Though we shouldn't forget about Svetlana Alexievich. Regarding the present political situation, it would be one of the least unexpected surprises, if she won the Prize this year.

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