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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V View Post
    That's a place or a made-up word, peter, right? Monniksoog? How is Nooteboom as a poet?
    Nooteboom regards himself first and foremost as a poet. Monniksoog refers to Schiermonnikoog, one of the Wadden islands located at the very north of the Netherlands. Nooteboom wrote these poems there. Monniksoog could also be translated literally as monk's eye, which I interpret as the poet needing to observe things with a dedicated eye in order to write poetry.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    That's what I get for looking at the English Wikipedia page for Nooteboom instead of the Dutch one. It stops listing new works from him after 2010. According to the Netherlands page he has released a lot over he last few years.

    The Nobel page for Gao Xingjian discussed his dramatic works in both their press release and his biography. They also list his dramatic works on the bibliography page.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V View Post
    Cool, let us know how you get on with him. Maybe review this one, too? https://www.amazon.com/Silver-City-L...0835959&sr=1-1 Or this one http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/china/lirui.htm
    Thanks for bringing that to my attention, just ordered Silver City. The other one was...slightly out of my price budget.

    And Isahoinp, here's what I was referring to: https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_pri...gao-facts.html

    "Field: prose"

    That they reference his dramatic works elsewhere makes it weirder that they say he won for prose. But then again there is a typo in the prize motivation...

    "Prize motivation: "for an æuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama"

    They do something similar for Wole Soyinka:
    "Field: poetry, prose"

    Again ignoring his plays

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Oh, I've never looked at the the Facts pages. I suppose it's possible they believe Gao's use of pronouns in his novels Soul Mountain and One Man's Bible are more important to his legacy than his dramatic works.

    Likewise, maybe Soyinka's Ake: The Years of Childhood (often referred to a state one of the greatest African books) was more important to his win than his dramas. Though I doubt that considering most of their write up on him has to do with his dramas.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    It's odd of them to do...

    Also, was looking into Cao Naiqian and Li Rui. It's times like these I wish I had taken studying Mandarin more seriously when I was in China. Here's what google translate says on Li Rui's Chinese wiki page: "Nobel Prize winner Swedish singer Ma Yue Ran even think that Li Rui and North Island is the most promising to win the Nobel Prize two Chinese writers."

    Ah yes, that Swedish singer Ma Yue Ran...That's supposed to be Malmqvist. "North Island" is Bei Dao apparently translated literally.

    There's also this: "
    Sweden Nobel Prize in Literature Final judges Ma Yueran very respected Shanxi writer Li Rui and Cao Naiqian works, many media and reporters think they will be popular candidate Nobel Prize for Literature Chinese candidates."

    That second quote is based on an article/interview with Malmqvist from 2008, no reference for the first quote. I doubt that this is either of their years, but it is cool to stumble upon little known writers that actually have supporters in the academy.

    Edit: Here's an old thread about Li Rui:

    http://www.worldliteratureforum.com/forum/showthread.php/35832-Li-Rui

    To clarify, Li Rui the writer was born in 1949. Another Li Rui was involved in politics, was jailed for a while, and in the 2000s became a sort of dissident and wrote essays/nonfiction. Not sure where the poet thing comes in.
    Last edited by redheadshadz; 24-Jul-2017 at 01:25.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    As a Canadian, I would love it if Margaret Atwood won the prize, but does her work hold up? Not sure. The Blind Assassin was astonishing, but her other novels that I read left me indifferent.

    Two American writers that I'd like to see win, Stephen Dixon or Joseph McElroy. Joseph Mcelroy is 87, but still publishing (and even somewhat present on Twitter). I'm not saying that they're even candidates, just that I'd like to see them win.

    I'd like to see a woman win the prize. I'm not very familiar with whatever is out there, but maybe somebody like Can Xue or Dubravka Ugresic.

    I also have a good feeling about Murakami this year.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    But lets not forget that a lot of the book prizes etc (Nobel and others) are probably going to try and make some sort of political statement given the current political climate in the world.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    An American isn't going to win it this year because an American won last year. If one were to win, neither of those two authors seem even remotely likely in my opinion.

    Can Xue doesn't have enough of an international reputation. She hasn't won any international awards. Were a Chinese author to win the prize I wouldn't consider her one of the likely ones.

    Murakami will continue to be a "perennial" candidate for the next 20 years if he keeps publishing. He just published a massive 1000 page novel that deals with Nazis and discusses the Nanking Massacre. The publication of a new novel certainly helps his chances, but being as long as it is, since none of the Academy members speak Japanese I have reservations on their ability to translate and digest it in less than a year (it came out around the end of February). To me were he to win 2018 seems more likely, as by then at the very least some Western translations of the novel should be out.
    Last edited by Isahoinp; 24-Jul-2017 at 02:56.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Well, I know that an American winning the prize is unlikely and the authors stated are not in the running, I was just saying that if an American is going to win, why not reward a prolific writer who has been working under the radar for his/hers entire career?

    That being said, I will use a similar argument as you (but you made it about women), shouldn't the winner be the most deserving? Shouldn't this be more about nationality?

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Isahoinp's elaborate and informative analysis in the first page is great (as usual). Arigato gozaimasu, Isa-sama!

    As for this year's laureate, I expect the Academy to pick an uncontroversial novelist, probably a perennial. I wouldn't be surprised if it's Thiong'o or Oz.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Referring to that video interview with Goran Malmqvist that was posted earlier, the way he says that Mo Yan as a Chinese author won because enough judges voted him in that time makes it sound to me like in the past other Chinese authors may have been shortlisted but didn't manage to gather enough votes to win.

    If this is true, it seems to me that Bei Dao may have been shortlisted at one point and failed to get the votes. Given that Malmqvist has translated him and the Nobel Library's large amount of his works.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Speaking of Chinese writers translated by Malmqvist, I just finished devouring Cao Naiqian’s There’s Nothing I Can Do when I Think of You Late at Night.


    The translator was kind enough to provide us in his foreword with a compass to navigate the book, a quote from Confucius’ Book of Rites: “The things which men greatly desire are comprehended in meat, drink and sexual pleasure; those which they greatly dislike are comprehended in death, being cast out, and suffering.” Naiqian’s stories revolve around those themes like moths around Uncle Pothook’s lamp’s flame.


    I kept hearing echoes of the Book of Odes and Po Chu I’s poetry as well as traditional Chinese ballads throughout the stories, but this being a translation, I must have missed tons of allusions. The translator proposes Winesburg, Ohio and Faulkner as reference points to understand TNICDWITOFLAN. I can see why, As I Lay Dying, The Unvanquished and Light in August are there for sure. The work also reminded me of Chekhov, Bunin and Joseph Mitchell sketches.


    The stories, read individually, are intentionally underwhelming, however, when read in sequence their cumulative effect is immense. I was lucky to be reading at the same time Marek Sindelka’s brilliant collection of interlinked fantastical stories about botanical horrors, Aberrant, which provided a contrast with Naiqian’s artistry. While Sindelka’s subject matter is a lot more engaging and his style is flashier, Naiqian is vastly superior as an artist in dealing in his understated way with his lowly subject matter: the perfect austere execution of each story piles up as they add to much more than the sum of their parts, while Sindelka’s efforts to link his stories tightly into a novel detracts from them making the total less than the parts.


    And while many of Naiqian’s stories at first reading may look like a description of perversions, there’s always a sublimated interpretation hiding behind the surface (for example in that tale of two brothers sexually drawn to the same woman like moths to a lamp):


    With tenderness and depth –
    for only tenderness is deep,
    only depth possesses tenderness –
    I recognize in a thousand faces
    who has seen it,
    whom it has looked at,
    the tender depth
    and the deep tenderness
    that gazes out from stones as out of glass.


    So light up,
    warm lantern of the west,
    lamp, moth trap.
    Speak once more
    with our everyday light
    sun of tenderness and depth,
    sun deserting the earth,
    the first and the last sun.
    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

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    The only two Claudio Magris books that I have are Blindly and Danube. Haven't read either. Are there the best places to start?

  14. #34

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Danube is his most famous. Might as well start there.

    Thanks for the explanation, Peter.

  15. #35

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Perhaps this isn't worthy speculation for 2017, but I'm wondering which children/YA authors might be good candidates, if the committee were ever to branch out again like they did last year. I was asking myself the other day in the car if someone like JK Rowling could one day aspire to win it.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Jürg Schubiger or Tormod Haugen, if they were still alive.

    Aidan Chambers, Barbro Lindgren, Sonya Hartnett, Christine Nöstlinger come to mind.

    edit: I forgot to mention Guus Kuijer.
    Last edited by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V; 26-Jul-2017 at 04:25.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    If a travel writer was to win it, I think Dervla Murphy will be a great choice.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    I don't honestly think a children's author will ever win. The two winners under the new Permanent Secratary do represent "expanding the definition of literate" a bit, but both have precedent from over 100 years ago, with Mommsen writing and winning for History and Tagore winning for his songwriting.

    As far as travel authors go, this has been discussed elsewhere on the board, but VS Naipaul won already and he's basically the best you'll get as far as literary travel writing at the moment. The only other travel writer I could even name who's noteworthy enough to win is Paul Theroux and he's a Naipaul disciple so that's not going to happen.

    Of course Naipaul isn't strictly a travel writer. I don't think you'll find many authors who exclusively wrote travel literature.

    JMG Le Clezio also has works that fall into a travel subgenre.

    Murakami also writes travel literature, though nearly all of it remains untranslated outside of excerpts in academic journals.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    I don't know, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils' authoress, Selma Lagerlöf, won the Nobel, after all. And allegedly, if it wasn't for https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...qcKYCLZ0k0rBBA Lundkvist's meddling, Astrid Lindgren would have won the Nobel too.
    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

  20. #40

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Horace did say in an interview he would have liked Astrid to be a member of the Academy, too.

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