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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    I think the Nobel shouldn't have lost its tradition of awarding a non-fiction author from time to time, as it happened in the past with George Bernard Shaw, Henri Bergson, Bertrand Russell and so on... Probably the last time was with Churchill, if I'm not mistaken. It'd be a good time for lady Svetlana.

    As for my guess, I would bet my hypothetical money on Ngugi wa Thiongo.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    I would include Elias Canneti, who only wrote one piece of fiction is his life - even if it is, apparently, a great one (it sits on my shelf and looks at me accusingly as I write this).

    If it is an American, which I doubt, I would say Vollmann or Pynchon or Erdrich are the most worthy options. Gass would be a distant fourth, to my mind. McCarthy has fallen in my estimation in recent months, but I do still need to read a couple of his masterpieces (Suttree is staring at me as well).

    An African? Ngugi is hard to compete with, though I wouldn't rule out Farrah at all.

    The Middle-East? I honestly have no idea. Same with the vast majority of Asia. Ok, to be honest, same with all of Asia. Salman Rushdie is certainly deserving, but he needs to release another amazing novel I think. He may still have a good decade of contention left in him, too.

    What about South America? Cesar Aira is the only name that I really know anything about, other than Isabel Allende (who best not win). Nobody has really shone since Bolano, but it is a massive continent with an incredible body of talent, so there must be something there.

    Australia? Maybe? David Malouf and Murnane both have great output, apparently. None of their work really interests me, and I don't think that Peter Carey is quite as good as most others do, it seems.

    Europe is brimming with talent. Fosse, Krasznahorkai, Magris, Ferrante, Kadare, Nooteboom, Marias, Tournier, Shishkin, Alexievitch. Those are just the novelists too. I'm horrible with poets and playwriters, but there must be stuff coming out of that continent (and others!) that is more than worthy of consideration.

    I'm still hoping Murakami doesn't win, but his publishers are making a bigger and bigger push for him in the English world. He has released a very high number of works in the past two years, and I'm just not sure that I'm seeing anything in there that looks interesting in any way. I still need to enjoy the Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, though. Some light surrealism might make for pleasant late-summer reading....

    My hope lies in Kadare, Rushdie or Ngugi. Erdrich maybe, but I don't think it will come back to North America again, and I think that Vollmann has contributed more the form of the novel as an art, and of nonfiction as well. I would love for another woman to win - my recent survey of my collection revealed just how little writing I have by women - and I know that women are producing an amazing body of work.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vazquez View Post
    Have anyone read Svetlana Aleksijevitj?
    Quote Originally Posted by Septularisen View Post
    I have read "Voices from Chernobyl" (La Supplication : Tchernobyl, chroniques du monde aprs l'apocalypse), and "Wars Unwomanly Face" (La Guerre na pas un visage de femme), and same I really liked a lot. I think this she's really a great great writer.
    I've read War's Unwomanly Face, Last Witnesses and Zinky Boys. They were all great but the problem is that she doesn't write much from herself. It's mostly testimonies by other people. It is a tremendous work just meeting all them, listening to their often painful stories and then compiling them into a book, but I'm not sure that's enough. I'd love her to gain more publicity in the West though. Those stories should be more widely read and maybe they would inspire journalists to do similar work in their countries.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    If PREZ-REVERTE ever wins the Nobel, I promise not to start a new speculation thread!
    Fortunately I don't have talk to you about Elena PONIATOWSKA!!

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by kadare View Post
    So I believe this will be Adunis' year
    I agree with you here.
    If you take out the french writing poets, Jude STEFAN, Yves BONNEFOY, Jacques ROUBAUD, Philippe JACCOTTET
    you have, for the poetry, only some more serious names, the americans poets as John ASHBERY, William S. MERWIN.. The South Korean Ko UN and... ADUNIS!

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by OverTheMountains View Post

    Europe is brimming with talent. Fosse, Krasznahorkai, Magris, Ferrante, Kadare, Nooteboom, Marias, Tournier, Shishkin, Alexievitch. Those are just the novelists too. I'm horrible with poets and playwriters, but there must be stuff coming out of that continent (and others!) that is more than worthy of consideration.
    You can forget Michel TOURNIER here, he's french and 90 years old.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Hrabal78 View Post
    Now, Kadare, that is a worthy candidate. His political past may not help him much
    Quote Originally Posted by Hrabal78 View Post
    Kadare's political past is not exactly favorable.
    What's wrong with his political past?

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    If another European male win we'll have to consider two worthy authors, Handke and Kundera, unjustly despised apparently by not literary reasons.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Septularisen View Post
    I agree with you here.
    If you take out the french writing poets, Jude STEFAN, Yves BONNEFOY, Jacques ROUBAUD, Philippe JACCOTTET
    you have, for the poetry, only some more serious names, the americans poets as John ASHBERY, William S. MERWIN.. The South Korean Ko UN and... ADUNIS!
    But why you exclude poetry from others places, like the South African poet Wally Serote or the spanish poet Jorge Justo Padrn?

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Sevastefo View Post
    If another European male win we'll have to consider two worthy authors, Handke and Kundera, unjustly despised apparently by not literary reasons.
    Yes but... Milan KUNDERA is french writer and 86 years old!...

  11. #31

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post

    You can't consider Vargas Llosa as Spaniard; despite having double nationality all his works are set in Peru and he was announced as Peruvian writer when he was awarded the Nobel. In that case, last Spaniard to win the prize was Cela 25 years ago.
    Even if you think in terms of language, we just had Le Clzio(2008)/Modiano(2014), I don't think it would be so absurd Vargas Llosa(2010)/Another person that writes in Spanish(2015).

    Thinking about that and about the idea that 2015 could be a year to a poet winner,I can only remember one writer: Nicanor Parra. Ok, ok, he is old (one century old to be more exact) but he deserves the Nobel!

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Sevastefo View Post
    But why you exclude poetry from others places, like the South African poet Wally Serote or the spanish poet Jorge Justo Padrn?
    Well, I make a selection with the names of poets coming every year for the Nobel Prize.
    In fact if I take your supposition I can add a lot of names : Guy GOEFFETTE, Marcel MIGOZZI, Kenneth WHITE, Adam ZAGAJEWSKI, Leslie "Les" MURRAY...

    And some "older" poets : Friederike MAYRKER, Kiki DOUMULA, Claribel ALLEGRIA, Eeva KILPI, ...
    I just want to add the name of Herberto HELDER, but wikii just says to me that he's past on March of this year!...

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    If it goes to another European male, I hope it's one of these: Javier Marias, Vila-Matas, Krasznahorkai. It wouldn't surprise me if either Jon Fosse or Knausgaard eventually got it, but I think they've both got to wait a while. And like a few others, if Svetlana Alexievitch won, I'd welcome it with open arms. For writers like Kundera, I never really liked The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and I remember in a biography of Patrick White the person on the Nobel committee who helped secure it for him said if he hadn't won it then, his 3rd or 4th year of being nominated, it was unlikely he ever would, so maybe the academy has just moved past him and the other eternal candidates.

    I don't know too many areas, so I'll just list the ones I have some ideas about.

    North American writers...I doubt it'll come back ere so soon after Munro, but I think Roth is too divisive, DeLillo's reputation rests more or less on 4 books with the rest a bit mediocre, McCarthy, even if you think he deserves it, is definitely too popular for the academy, Pynchon should win (long after the other writers of his time have been forgotten he'll still be studied) but won't. Marilynne Robinson doesn't exactly have a big oeurve, but she has a bunch of non-fiction books which, while not as acclaimed as her fiction, will hopefully help her get over that obstacle. Vollmann and Erdrich would also be god picks, but they have a lot of time.

    As for Australia, Peter Carey will never get it, his last few books are waaay too awful for that. Murnane is probably one of those eternals at this point. Tim Winton would be great, although some consider him a little light. I haven't read Flanagan, but his Booker win will probably give him a boost internationally, although both hi and Winton are still young.

    Japan. Murakami won't get it, but there are other great Japanese writers out there. Yoko Tawada can be hit or miss, but I think she's still a contender, and there's Minae Mizumura, who doesn't have too much work, but I think she could have a chance. A True Novel is sitting on my shelf, but despite all the rave reviews the length has thus far scared me off. Her anti-English pro-Japanese language stance will net her a few brownie points with the academy.

    And finally, China. My Chinese is still not good enough to read literature, but a year over there introduced me to a lot of writers hailing from there, albeit in translation. I hope they award it to another Chinese writer soon, the only reason they've given it to 2 Chinese is because of a sinologist on the board, but he's like 88 now, and once he goes who knows when they'll get back to the region? Which is a shame, because there are a ton of great writers from there right now. Yu Hua is decent, though not my particular cup of tea, though when Mo Yan won a bunch of people were angry it wasn't Yu. Su Tong is great, he's a bit like Mo Yan in his use of folk lore, but much more misanthropic and less accessible. Unfortunately his more recent books had horrible translations in English, which might hurt him. Yan Lianke just won the Kafka Prize, so he has a pretty good chance, but his fiction kinda bores me. If he wins, I think politics will definitely have played a part. Ma Jian might be too much of a beatnik for them. Then there's Han Shaogong and Wang Anyi, who both have one great novel available in English (The Dictionary of Maqiao and The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, respectively) but have very little else out in translation. If I recall correctly, though, the sinologist in the Academy said they're both worthy of the Nobel. It wouldn't surprise me if another chinese writer gets it before 2020.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Septularisen View Post
    Well, I make a selection with the names of poets coming every year for the Nobel Prize.
    In fact if I take your supposition I can add a lot of names : Guy GOEFFETTE, Marcel MIGOZZI, Kenneth WHITE, Adam ZAGAJEWSKI, Leslie "Les" MURRAY...

    And some "older" poets : Friederike MAYRKER, Kiki DOUMULA, Claribel ALLEGRIA, Eeva KILPI, ...
    I just want to add the name of Herberto HELDER, but wikii just says to me that he's past on March of this year!...
    Some new names ... many I haven't known / read. Thank you much..
    Jayan



  15. #35
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    And finally, China. My Chinese is still not good enough to read literature, but a year over there introduced me to a lot of writers hailing from there, albeit in translation. I hope they award it to another Chinese writer soon, the only reason they've given it to 2 Chinese is because of a sinologist on the board, but he's like 88 now, and once he goes who knows when they'll get back to the region? Which is a shame, because there are a ton of great writers from there right now. Yu Hua is decent, though not my particular cup of tea, though when Mo Yan won a bunch of people were angry it wasn't Yu. Su Tong is great, he's a bit like Mo Yan in his use of folk lore, but much more misanthropic and less accessible. Unfortunately his more recent books had horrible translations in English, which might hurt him. Yan Lianke just won the Kafka Prize, so he has a pretty good chance, but his fiction kinda bores me. If he wins, I think politics will definitely have played a part. Ma Jian might be too much of a beatnik for them. Then there's Han Shaogong and Wang Anyi, who both have one great novel available in English (The Dictionary of Maqiao and The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, respectively) but have very little else out in translation. If I recall correctly, though, the sinologist in the Academy said they're both worthy of the Nobel. It wouldn't surprise me if another chinese writer gets it before 2020.
    What about Can Xue? Too strange for the academy?

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by kadare View Post
    What's wrong with his political past?
    When Kadare won the international Booker, some people raised questions about the precise nature of his relationship with the old Albanian regime. People question Kadare's relationship with Hoxha. Early in his career, Kadare published verses that, essentially, praised Hoxha and his revolutionary (murderous) regime while other writers were being persecuted. Kadare served in Albania's People's Assembly for 12 years, and was an influential member of the writers union senior hierarchy. He did have one hiccup in 1975, when he published a poem that the government did not like, but, generally speaking, he was not really critical of the government. You compare that to writer's like Muller, Kundera, Ludvik Vaculik, Havel, Mandelstam, Brodsky, Solzhenitsyn, Slawomir Brozek, Baranczak, etc., and his, at the very least, passivity stands out. Don't get me wrong, of the books I read of Kadare's, I think he is an outstanding writer but, that being said, because of his political past, he is controversial.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by EllisIsland View Post
    What about Can Xue? Too strange for the academy?
    I actually forgot about her. I haven't had a chance to read her yet, but I have a copy of Five Spice Street from the library sitting on my night stand. She does seem strange, and looking at online reviews of her books, it seems she too may suffer from poor translations, at least for some of them. I'll update when I'm done with her novel, she interests me a lot.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Im enjoying this topic a lot. As a matter of fact, after reading your comments, I just bought a book from Kadare! I saw that the two books from him I didnt enjoy were from the 70s, and the ones I did enjoy were from the 90s. Coincidence? I dont know, but now Ive got a quite recent one - The Accident (2010).

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vazquez View Post
    Im enjoying this topic a lot. As a matter of fact, after reading your comments, I just bought a book from Kadare! I saw that the two books from him I didnt enjoy were from the 70s, and the ones I did enjoy were from the 90s. Coincidence? I dont know, but now Ive got a quite recent one - The Accident (2010).

    I'm not sure if you'll like it. I've read more than 20 books by Kadare and the book you've picked is one of his weaker ones. It left me confused
    Even Kadare himself doesn't like it, having called it "mediocre" during some interviews.
    The books he published in the 2000s are generally lame in my opinion except for "The Fall Of The Stone City" and "shtje t marrzis", but the later is more like an epilogue to Chronicle in Stone

    EDIT: Oops looks like I forgot he wrote The Successor in the early 2000s. Thats a great book too imo
    Last edited by kadare; 08-Aug-2015 at 13:03.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation

    Oh, no! Well, lets read it...

    I have enjoyed The File on H a lot, great book... I have enjoyed The Pyramid, maybe the ending is not on par with the rest of the book, but it left a strong impression on me. Broken April and Chronicle in Stone didnt please me, I know they are very respected... maybe it was the translation? My state of mind at the time? I dont know...

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