Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 87

Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
    From the UK translation of Second-Hand Time, out next year from Fitzcarraldo Editions:

    If I remember correctly, she had a well-reviewed book (to the point of some people considering it might be her magnum opus) come out in Europe in the last few years. Is this that one?

    Edit: It appears that it is, can't wait
    Last edited by redheadshadz; 08-Oct-2015 at 15:28.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Querétaro, Mexico
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Uemarasan View Post
    From what I understand, literature encompasses writing in both prose and verse, so fiction and nonfiction as well as poetry and plays. It can even be argued that nonfiction writing is all too often overlooked in these kinds of awards. If reportage, history, or philosophy transcends its formal parameters, then that certainly is deserving of a Nobel for fine literature.
    Big thumbs up. Of course great non-fiction writers are eligible for the Nobel, and are probably usually overlooked. I think this year's award is refreshing.

    There have been five, perhaps six writers awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature primarily for non-fiction writing:

    Theodor Mommsen, historian (1902)
    Rudolf Christian Eucken, philosophy (1908)
    Henri Bergson, philosophy (1928)
    Bertrand Russell, philosophy (1950)
    Winston Churchill, history (1953)
    Elias Canetti, hard to classify (1981)

    I am surprised that philosophers aren't considered more often. I'm also surprised that Claude Levi-Strauss never won; he was a perfect candidate.

    The size of the oeuvre doesn't matter so much. Some poets win on sparse outputs. Thomas Mann's win was essentially for one book, Buddenbrooks, as his citation explicitly states.

    Alexievich's award ought to bring renewed attention to the writer she has cited as a principal inspiration, Ales Adamovich (1927-1994), at least three of whose books were translated into English (but none of these were issued by mainstream publishing houses in the UK or US).

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Apparently Octavio Paz's nonfiction was cited as half the reason he got the prize; not too familiar with him, anyone have opinions on his nonfiction?

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Querétaro, Mexico
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Apparently Octavio Paz's nonfiction was cited as half the reason he got the prize; not too familiar with him, anyone have opinions on his nonfiction?
    That is a good point. Labyrinth of Solitude - essentially a book of cultural analysis - is certainly Paz's best-known title.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Munich & Thessaloniki
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
    The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2015 has been awarded to Svetlana Alexievich "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time."
    The same courage the Swedish Academy showed when they refused to express their support for Mr Rushdie as fatwā callings were made for his assassination?!

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Munich & Thessaloniki
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Uemarasan View Post
    From what I understand, literature encompasses writing in both prose and verse, so fiction and nonfiction as well as poetry and plays. It can even be argued that nonfiction writing is all too often overlooked in these kinds of awards. If reportage, history, or philosophy transcends its formal parameters, then that certainly is deserving of a Nobel for fine literature.
    Let's not get too sophistical in analyzing what literature is made of or can/should be. The formal terms may be clear, but you don't make them a judge on who your favorite writers are.

    There is an impressive list of prestigious non-fiction awards, that could easily decorate Ms Alexievich's gathered impressions, testimonies & interviews of hostile living environments and/or war-related horrors plus their effects on the human condition. I respect her writing, but it's journalism with a lot of band-aid for dressing the wounds & souls ... In my books the wounds can stay open …

  7. #47

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by jimdandy View Post
    Let's not get too sophistical in analyzing what literature is made of or can/should be. The formal terms may be clear, but you don't make them a judge on who your favorite writers are.

    There is an impressive list of prestigious non-fiction awards, that could easily decorate Ms Alexievich's gathered impressions, testimonies & interviews of hostile living environments and/or war-related horrors plus their effects on the human condition. I respect her writing, but it's journalism with a lot of band-aid for dressing the wounds & souls ... In my books the wounds can stay open ...
    Have you read any of her books? They are much closer to traditional literature than they are to plain and simple reportage. And besides I don't think it's as simple as either/or, for surely the definition and nuances of literature changes with the times, as with any medium. I'm not saying that there should be a coronation of Bob Dylan or something, but even cinema was not considered a visual artform by the aesthetic conservatives back when Metropolis first came out. The academy has simply chosen to live in the 21st century.

    I think the Encyclopedia Britannica says it better than I can:

    "Indeed, it becomes more and more difficult to categorize literature, for in modern civilization words are everywhere. Man is subject to a continuous flood of communication. Most of it is fugitive, but here and there—in high-level journalism, in television, in the cinema, in commercial fiction, in westerns and detective stories, and in plain, expository prose—some writing, almost by accident, achieves an aesthetic satisfaction, a depth and relevance that entitle it to stand with other examples of the art of literature."

    http://www.britannica.com/art/literature

    To be quite honest, not awarding Rushdie has proven to be quite prescient. He has declined into a very mediocre writer after the fatwa. Even Stephen King is better than he is at this point.
    Last edited by Uemarasan; 08-Oct-2015 at 16:15.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Munich & Thessaloniki
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Well, fine for the Swedish Academy finally arriving in the 21st century. It could have been earlier for them - Kapuściński
    died 2007 ...

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    If an academic historian of Rome could win the Nobel back when the academy was strictly following Nobel's will, I think giving it to a reporter when the will is only loosely followed is fair. Though calling her work as simple reportage doesn't do her justice. It is reportage, but reportage to me has different connotations, ranging from war coverage to Ron Burgundy reporting on a waterskying squirrel, like saying Ulysses and Twilight are both books. It's true, but one is of a much higher magnitude than the other.

    jimdandy brings up a good point with Kapuściński. Last year some were saying Modiano might not have gotten it had Sebald lived to win his Nobel. Could it be the same thing this year, an almost... I don't want to say redemptive, as Alexievich and Modiano were imo totally deserving, but no decent words come to mind. Derrida was the third person Engdahl mentioned as a worthy laureate-could we be getting another philosopher soon?

    Also, after two years in Europe and a woman, I predict next year will go to a male outside of Europe. Which leaves a lot of possibilities...but they've recently given awards to East Asia and North and South America. So Africa, Australia, and west or southeast Asia? Probably will end up wrong but you never know.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    literary abyss, LA
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Like most, I am surprised, given that her works are not in the mold of traditional literature.

    Given that the Academy has been giving it to younger writers (Svetlana, Jelinek, Muller, etc.) and less "popular" names, it makes me think that the ship has definitely sailed on the older writers (i.e. Kundera, Adonis, Trevor), as well as on the more noted ones, the perennial favorites that have been in the running for some time, i.e. Roth, Atwood, Rushdie, Murakami, Kadare, Thiong'o, Oz.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Querétaro, Mexico
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Also, after two years in Europe and a woman, I predict next year will go to a male outside of Europe. Which leaves a lot of possibilities...but they've recently given awards to East Asia and North and South America. So Africa, Australia, and west or southeast Asia? Probably will end up wrong but you never know.
    Well, Ngugi and Murakami both fit the "male outside of Europe" profile and are probably both waiting by the phone. Although when writers are tipped for years and never seem to win, you've got to suspect that their moment may have passed and/or there is some strong opposition to them. Ko Un, Adonis, and Ismail Kadare may all fall in that category; coming from small counties as they do, they should certainly have been attractive prospects, so what went wrong?

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    1,673

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Surprised she won with that few books. Not that she isn't a great winner, but I think the last writer to have published a single digits amount of books before winning was Toni Morrison over 20 years ago.

    Edit: and ugh, already complaints about it being a political award popping up. Yes, Alexievich is a very political writer, but no, I don't think she was selected just to give Putin the finger...

    Actually Herta Müller had (still has) only published a handful of books to obtain her Nobel prize.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Murtha View Post
    Well, Ngugi and Murakami both fit the "male outside of Europe" profile and are probably both waiting by the phone. Although when writers are tipped for years and never seem to win, you've got to suspect that their moment may have passed and/or there is some strong opposition to them. Ko Un, Adonis, and Ismail Kadare may all fall in that category; coming from small counties as they do, they should certainly have been attractive prospects, so what went wrong?
    I hope it's neither of them... As for Ko Un & co, who knows, it could've been some academy members didn't like their work/liked someone else's work more. Who knows, people thought the ship sailed on Tranströmer and Munro when they got it, and Kadare's only 79 so he could still get it. Ko Un and Adonis are to old, I think. Still, I keep seeing more and more mentions of Korean writers, I'd be surprised if in 10 years there isn't a Korean winner.

    Edit: Just thought about Maryse Conde, who writes in French. Danius said if she could go back and give the award to some they had missed, she'd gift it to two french language writers. I'd be surprised with back-to-back women, though it would be cool, and Conde would not be my first choice (I'm underread with contemporary women writers, I just realized) but it could happen. What do you guys think of her? The discussions on her in the speculation thread didn't excite me but I've seen elsewhere that she's really good.
    Last edited by redheadshadz; 08-Oct-2015 at 19:04.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Stiffelio View Post
    Actually Herta Müller had (still has) only published a handful of books to obtain her Nobel prize.
    Unless most of these are small standalone stories and essays, she'd published quite a bit when she won.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herta_M%C3%BCller#Works

    Only the most recent works of prose and poetry came out after her win.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, UK
    Posts
    2,206

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Hrabal78 View Post
    Given that the Academy has been giving it to younger writers (Svetlana, Jelinek, Muller, etc.) and less "popular" names, it makes me think that the ship has definitely sailed on the older writers (i.e. Kundera, Adonis, Trevor), as well as on the more noted ones, the perennial favorites that have been in the running for some time, i.e. Roth, Atwood, Rushdie, Murakami, Kadare, Thiong'o, Oz.
    The thing is, with the shortlist being narrowed to five candidates each year, there just isn't enough space for everyone. If one is chosen over the other four, it doesn't necessarily mean they will make the shortlisted five in the following year, whether that is because there isn't sufficient work to form an opinion and a single year isn't going to change that; the champion that nominated them one year decides to nominate someone else the following year; or the make-up of the selection panel is changed through deaths and new appointments, bringing new tastes. Or, in other words, it's probably not an annual prize for writers, from a selection point of view, in the way that we see it.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Guadalajara
    Posts
    5,295

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Yeah, it was, Obama was a bad laureate. Not the worst winner of the peace prize (that would be Kissinger) but still down there.

    And @Daniel del Real, would Canetti count? He published one novel, some stories, and a few plays, but he was far more known in his lifetime for his various nonfictions, and I think ultimately published a lot more of it than fiction. Also, don't forget about Mommsen, the second winner and also a huge historian of Rome.
    Of course red, even Canetti himself kept claiming that his most important work to which he dedicated more than 30 years of his life was Crowd and Power. However, as you point out, he didn't win the Nobel solely based on it; he also wrote one novel, a few plays, memoirs and travel books.
    But Alexievich is the first writer since Churchill that didn't published any fiction at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Also, after two years in Europe and a woman, I predict next year will go to a male outside of Europe. Which leaves a lot of possibilities...but they've recently given awards to East Asia and North and South America. So Africa, Australia, and west or southeast Asia? Probably will end up wrong but you never know.
    Let's start speculating already for Ngugi to win it in 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Apparently Octavio Paz's nonfiction was cited as half the reason he got the prize; not too familiar with him, anyone have opinions on his nonfiction?
    El Laberinto de la Soledad is still (and will be for a long time) a cornerstone for Mexican culture. Incredible how a sociological study written 65 years ago still makes a perfect fit for the ideology and psyche of the Mexican individual.

  17. #57

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Sara Danius looks and sounds very iron-willed and no-nonsense. Funny how her favorite movie is a National Lampoon film.

    As regards Kapuscinski, yes, he deserved the Nobel and it's a shame that he did not get it. Then again, there are so many authors around the world and across time that deserve the Nobel, but history will always be kind to the giants and ensure their immortality. Recently, they missed giving it to Achebe, Fuentes, Wolf, Mulisch, but these writers will do very well even without a Nobel to their names. I think this year's laureate is a means to draw attention to a writer and genre that would otherwise not be celebrated but whose work is important, keeping in mind a general reading public that is not as privvy to the vast wealth of world literature as those who frequent very knowledgeable websites and forums such as these but do pay attention to the Nobel Prizes, even if glancingly.

    An interesting side note: Alexievich won the Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage. This Nobel is definitely an homage to him and the genre they both work/ed in.

  18. #58

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Gao Xingjian's main body of work is his plays (still undertranslated, unfortunately), and he had written many before he won. He also says that his plays are more important than anything else he has written.

    Imre Kertesz had I believe 10 books by the time he won. That's a good number to consider for the prize.

    I have to agree emphatically with regard to Rushdie. For all the literary potential he displayed, he somehow became obsessed with his own celebrity as a result of the fatwa and thus began a downward spiral he does not deign to recover from.
    Last edited by Uemarasan; 08-Oct-2015 at 21:05.

  19. #59

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Ah, well, I'm not too familiar with Kertesz. I was just going by what the Nobel website mentioned:

    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_priz.../bio-bibl.html

    I have yet to read most of his nonfiction (which appears to be separated into five different volumes), so I can't really judge fairly. The shorter works were considered novellas when they were published in English.
    Last edited by Uemarasan; 08-Oct-2015 at 21:22.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    692

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Let's start speculating already for Ngugi to win it in 2016
    I thought predicting the short list this year was pretty helpful. As Stewart says, there's no guarantee those short listed this year will be next year, but I'm seen enough overlap between years on the nomination archive to say some of them from this year will be back next. Jon Fosse was probably there (I'm convinced, even if it takes a decade or two, he will eventually win), perhaps Ngugi wa Thiong'o too. Of course, the closer we got to the announcement and the more the odds moved, the less sure I was of who I had put on my list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vazquez View Post
    If this forum has existed in that time, some people here (the ones that just show up this time of year) would say she won it only because she was a black woman... that it was tokenism or something like that... without reading her, of course.
    Good point. I wonder what some of the reactions on here would've been, especially when some of the more "token" picks wound up being some of the best winners (ex. Kawabata, Mahfouz, Oe).

    Quote Originally Posted by Vazquez View Post
    You have said it all. I can add a dozen more names. But, why don´t we rejoice in the fact the Nobel was given to Faulkner, Oe, Llosa, Morrison, Saramago, T.S.Eliot, Camus, Kawabata, Mahfouz, etc. etc. etc. I believe there are a lot more hits than misses...
    Thank you! I was arguing with someone earlier who said the prize rarely awards true greatness (although his list of snubbed writers included Dostoevsky and Austen...) and refused to admit any of the winners I listed was a truly great writer. Just because they're not read as much as Joyce doesn't mean they don't deserve the prize. Even since 2000, a time period people like to complain about, there have been some great winners who I would not be surprised to find later ranked up there among the academy's better choices.

Similar Threads

  1. Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 Speculation
    By Daniel del Real in forum Nobel Prize in Literature
    Replies: 396
    Last Post: 08-Oct-2015, 13:01

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
  •