Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 46

Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, UK
    Posts
    2,206

    Award Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2014 has been awarded to Patrick Modiano "for the art of memory which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    691

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Looks like I'm stuck for a few days at least. None of his books seem to be online yet, hopefully this prize will fix that. He really came out of nowhere, going from not on the betting list to winning! I'm satisfied with the surprise candidate. I'm also a little shocked they gave it to another French writer so soon after Le Clezio.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    I am happy with it because I am in search of a new writer and he seems to fit the bill in terms of what I like.

    So I will buy some more, and hopefully he will be my discovery of 2014.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    1,248

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Another year, another nobody...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    691

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Actually Heteronym, I did some research on Modiano in the days leading up to this, he's one of the leading French novelists at the time. I think his nobody status says more about us than about him.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Guadalajara
    Posts
    5,295

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    I've only read one brief autobiography called Un Pedigree which comprehends the time from his childhood to the moment his first novel is published. Very well crafted, evocative of memories during the German occupation. I quite liked it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    I think his nobody status says more about us than about him.

    Well said. I still cringe at the le Clezi-who type headlines that appeared in the American press when the previous French writer won. Disappointing and dismal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, UK
    Posts
    2,206

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation".
    Going to guess the Swedish have a word that relates to 'life-world' as I'm not sure what that actually means.

    The only book by Modiano that I've ever seen in English was a US import from David Godine publishers that I always refused to buy due to the high price on it for a slim paperback from overseas. Sort of wish I had now.

    That book was called Missing Person and, incidentally, it's the one Peter Englund, in a post announcement interview, has highlighted as the entry point for Modiano.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    1,248

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    I think his nobody status says more about us than about him.
    No it doesn't; I never cease reading great writers: perhaps he doesn't belong in that category. I just read the first pages of Missing Person in Amazon, and it's basically Raymond Chandler-level literature. Compared with what I've read lately: José Saramago, William Gass, Alexander Theroux, Vladimir Nabokov, his prose is mediocre.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Guadalajara
    Posts
    5,295

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    By the way, in an interview after the announcement Englund said that they weren't able to talk to him.

    In Spanish he is widely translated, probably 10 titles available by Anagrama.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
    The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2014 has been awarded to Patrick Modiano "for the art of memory which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation."
    Never heard of him, even though I am french speaking. Should be easier to find his books in french than in english. Anybody have any suggestions on where to begin? I was thinking of starting with La Rue des Boutiques Obscures which won the Goncourt in 1978

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    691

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Heteronym View Post
    No it doesn't; I never cease reading great writers: perhaps he doesn't belong in that category. I just read the first pages of Missing Person in Amazon, and it's basically Raymond Chandler-level literature. Compared with what I've read lately: José Saramago, William Gass, Alexander Theroux, Vladimir Nabokov, his prose is mediocre.
    That's funny because one of the things I consistently hear about Chandler was how good his writing was. Even if it's not up to snuff with Gass or Nabokov, such a prose style is good enough for the prize, especially considering Modiano consistently write detective-esque stories. Maybe he's not one of the best of the best, destined to be remembered later on, but from the little I've read of him (about the same as you) he seems like a good enough winner (although maybe that opinion will change once I read his work...)

    Edit: lol saw some other people ranting about this post on a certain other forum. Because too I'm lazy to register there, I'll post this here. Just wanted to make this more clear, I'm not trying to say prose isn't important, but it is not the end all be all. If the story and themes of a book are handled deftly enough, I don't see why it not having the best prose style in the world should mean that its author is out of the running for the prize, especially when said prose style enhances the mood of the novel. At least give the poor man a read before you judge him!
    Last edited by redheadshadz; 09-Oct-2014 at 15:16.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Guadalajara
    Posts
    5,295

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by hoodoo View Post
    Never heard of him, even though I am french speaking. Should be easier to find his books in french than in english. Anybody have any suggestions on where to begin? I was thinking of starting with La Rue des Boutiques Obscures which one the Goncourt in 1978
    I think his first novel La Place de l'Étoile should be a safe choice.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    691

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by hoodoo View Post
    Never heard of him, even though I am french speaking. Should be easier to find his books in french than in english. Anybody have any suggestions on where to begin? I was thinking of starting with La Rue des Boutiques Obscures which won the Goncourt in 1978
    I think the academy recommended that one as a good entry point.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Minnesota: "icebox of America"
    Posts
    1,014

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Fortunately, I have a copy of Night Rounds sitting on my shelf so I know what I'll be reading over the weekend. Until that happens, though, I won't have a reaction one way or the other to the Modiano choice.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    691

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Also, I got too caught up in Ngugi having the high odds, but it seems obvious in retrospect that they would return to Europe again after 2 years away. Maybe next year will be Ngugi's chance.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Just ordered used copies of La Place de l'Étoile and la Rue des Boutiques Obscures. Looking forward to reading him. I'm glad that the Academy chose a writer whose works I am not familiar with. He is apparently a bit hard to find. I contacted my local bookshop and they only had digital copies of his books.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    Piece about him in the London Review of Books http://www.lrb.co.uk/v22/n23/michael...drancy-13-8-42

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    literary abyss, LA
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    I hope this win prompts more English translations of his works. Sadly, very few of them have been translated into English. I have always wanted to read more of his stuff (I like WWII lit, i.e. Jiri Weil, Kertesz, Lustig, Semprun) but have been unable because I do not speak French. I did see Lacombe Lucien, a movie I happen to like very much.

    About nine of his books have been translated into English but most were done so years ago in very very small numbers, which means that they are ridiculously expensive (i.e. cheapest copy of Night Rounds is $65 on Amazon/Abebooks/Alibris).
    Last edited by Hrabal78; 09-Oct-2014 at 16:33.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

    I think that Accident Nocturne is a good entry point into Modiano for those who like Borges or Saramago's Last Year of Ricardo Reis. Accident Nocturne is a mystery novel, but a very original and different kind of mystery novel.

    It was three years ago, around the same time the old lady attacked me, but closer to June or July, that I was walking down the quai de la Tournelle. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon. I was looking at boxes of books from some of the bookstalls. Suddenly, my eyes captured the image of three very noticeable volumes, held together by a thick red rubber band. The first volume's yellow cover, its title and author's name written in black letters made my heart jump: The Concealing Memory by Fred Bouviere. I removed the rubber band. Two other books by Bouviere: Drugs And Therapies and Lies And Confessions. These books had been alluded to many times during the course of the Denfert-Rochereau meetings. Three impossible to find books, of which he had said that they were his youthful works. [...] I remembered all. I asked the bookseller where he had bought these books. He shrugged and said: somebody was moving out of town... Remembering the way in which Genevieve Dalame used to look at Bouviere with her blue eyes, the way she drank his words, I told myself that it was impossible for her to just get rid of these three books. Unless she wanted to brutally break away from a period of her life. Or she was dead.
    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.
    Yoshida Kenko

Similar Threads

  1. Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 Speculation
    By Daniel del Real in forum Nobel Prize in Literature
    Replies: 310
    Last Post: 09-Oct-2014, 13:06

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
  •