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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthEastAsianLit View Post
    I am honestly not sure how accurate this method is, of guessing that someone just got nominated just because his/her books are at the Nobel Library. I mean, it's a library. That's what it is supposed to contain. And it's public. Doesn't mean every author it contains must have been nominated, no, I don't think so.
    I didn't mean he was nominated because his book is in the library. I think somebody probably has nominated him, because he's a dissident. I realize my wording was poor.

  2. #62

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthEastAsianLit View Post
    I have read one of her novels, The Piano Teacher, and I quite liked it. Not sure why many people dislike her work. And it's probably the translations that are faulty. Anyone who has read her work in German and can verify this?

    Have all of her books (the ones available in English so far) but have read only one yet. Which one should be next?
    The translations are good. Of course, she has a lot of wordplay in the original. She admits she's a provincial writer because she's most effective in German, but whatever.

    I'd read first Die Liebhaberinnen, then read Die Ausgesperrten. Those two are hilarious, as well as showcase her world philosophies and two different prose styles.

    edit: I'm surprised never to read Sharon Olds' name. Granted, a North American will -obviously- not win this year, but even last year, I rarely came across her on speculations, yet she seems a stalwart of American poetry. She's won the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Pulitzer, National Book Critics, the James Laughlin; is a member of a bunch of American letters institutions; is in her 70s. Curious why I always see Anne Carson and Marilynne Robinson (not a poet I know) but never Olds.
    Last edited by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V; 28-Jul-2017 at 01:52.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    The Nobel Library only has one novel by Dương Thu Hương, an English translation from 1996.
    Based on that it seems fairly safe to say that she's never even been considered or at best was on a list of nominations and never looked into.

    Nagisa, you mention a breadth of topics. That isn't even remotely an issue. A large amount of their winners right novels that recycle plot devices, situations, names, etc with nearly no large variation between their works: Muller, Modiano, Oe, Morrison, Pinter, etc

    Sofi Oksanen is far too young at 40. Though they have a lot of her works in their library. Maybe in 15 years.
    Re : Duong : So, any writer not already well stocked in the Nobel library can't possibly be under consideration by the SA ?

    As far as I know, members of the Swedish Academy consider a fair range of translations. Each laureate is often presented on the website with an extensive list of translations of their works in English, French, Spanish, German and of course Swedish. Commentary and criticism often appear in these languages as well. SA members must be multilingual to do their job properly. For Duong, since she is widely translated in French (and English for that matter), with a smattering of Italian, Spanish and German, and I believe she's a talented writer, I wanted you to consider her since you said you were in need of autrixes to read. Maybe give her a try before ruling her out outright ; you may even like her.

    Re : breadth of topics : I understand this is a sticking point between you and me because I've leveled the same kind of criticism towards Murakami. And as I've said before, it's not about "recycl[ing] plot devices, situations, names, etc with nearly no large variation between [...] works" — il y a l'art et la manière. So, IMO, Thomas Bernhard, Claude Simon, Kenzaburo Oe do it admirably. Sofi Oksanen might, but I need to read more from her than 2 works, and as you say, she young yet. That's why I followed Nobel-caliber with a question mark. I encourage you to try her out as well, she got the Nordic Council's Literature Prize for Purge in 2010 ; other recipients include laureates Eyvind Johnson and Tomas Tranströmmer, as well as Tarjei Vesaas who is widely considered one of the finest Norwegian writers and was nominated at least 30 times, and Jon Fosse, who is a perennial candidate. In my reading experience, she didn't get it for nothing.

    Now I repeat : my opinions are entirely personal, and meant entirely light-heartedly. I believe that at our level of discussion on literature on this forum, we can agree that sometimes de gustibus non disputandem est. I've read Murakami. I've read four of his works and skimmed through many more, in French and English translation, and in the original Japanese. I believe I've formed an informed opinion about his work, and communicated that. So have you, from your reading experience. Our opinions diverge — c'est la vie.

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Also, just want to point out it appears you have the first two volumes of his trilogy. They both have pretty complete plots, but the third does add some closure after the second's ending.
    I'm pretty sure Au tomber de la nuit is the third volume of the trilogy... It's the translation of Kveldsvævd, which is the third one, right ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    Excellent posts all around, but I have to confess, to my deep embarrassment, my utter ignorance of this writer [Pierre Guyotat]. What's more, several of his books have been translated to English, so I really don't have a good excuse with this one, What, in your opinion, makes him Nobel-worthy?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V View Post
    Oh, Liam, I don't think you'd like him. The laureate I'd most compare him to is Jelinek, and I know you're not that big of a fan.
    Very much agree. If I can indulge in a little pop psychology, I'd say both are very damaged individuals who create to spit in the face of the world, or a world which allows what damaged them... But either way, both create very visceral, very brutal texts, in regards to subject matter, style, and towards language itself. This is where the question of translation, translate-ability really, comes into play.

    For example, I've read Jelinek in French (Les amantes, Les exclus, La pianiste and Lust) and I know the translator worked closely with the author on most of her works. But there is so much wordplay, so many sarcastic riffs on typically Austrian cultural tropes, and so much venom directed towards specifically Austrian topics, that the combination of translation-loss and national specificity can repel more casual readers. I know I certainly didn't appreciate Jelinek fully before I had read quite a bit around the Germanophone regions and their complicated history and cultures. And to be fair to Knut Ahnlund, she is definitely a like-or-hate autrix. I happen to enjoy her immensely.

    Guyotat is kinda the same, but worse. As I said, his work is marked with an obssession for le putain (the transcendent condition of male whoredom), scatological rape, and war, stemming in no small part from the author's experience in the Algerian War. It's difficult to explain just what Guyotat does to the French language : very early he eschews paragraph breaks and periods, going for long, winding sentences rhythmed by commas, colons, semicolons, slashes ; he strips his writing of certain metaphors or replaces them with alien ones, refuses to use vocabulary from a certain linguistic stratum and invents new creoles. And of course, there's the horrific, unendingly horrific content. Redheadshdz's link shows that quite well : here's the extract they chose from Tombeau pour 500.000 soldats.
    “The sentries walk down the roadway ; the dredgers stab them and push them in the canal: blood bubbles in the back and mixes with the black water. The rebels run up the emergency staircase, they invade the dormitories, they brain the supervisor sisters in the alcove curtains ; they throw themselves heavily on the orphan girls, vomit on the pillow, slaughter ; the corroded, chipped, encrusted blades make freakish wounds on the throat, on the belly of the orphan girls; squeezed at the throat, scalped ; they scream: their mouths, their nostrils spit, their nails pierce the rebels’ wrists : one of them winds a supervisor in her cubicle’s curtain and he clubs her with the dormitory’s crucifix, then, tearing off the Christ’s head, he drives it into the supervisor’s cunt : the thorn crown tears the cunt’s labia ; the rebel’s arm gets tangled in the supervisor’s underskirts.”

    I've read his early novellas Ashby and Sur un cheval, his massive Tombeau pour 500.000 soldats, and the decade-long banned (in France !) Éden, Éden, Éden. That's as far as Guyotat is legible in the original French. Most of his latter work (with notable exceptions) isn't really in French any more as much as it's in what he calls "la langue", his own sort of private, poetic language in imperfect, phonetic transcription.

    Here's from Prostitution, which I have on my shelf and can't really be bothered that hard to try at the moment :
    "extrait au dégris d'la slipée d'Loftallah, l'Ayadi péroné en saillie diaprant la déclichett'!, ripe, tars' jetant l'or!, sur ses talons enfoutraillés, chevill' fléchées tibia de main d'onîr diplôm'.., louff' du fool, l'hlffado!, s'encueille, vitulat sur zinc foetassé d'imbriaq' sous hymen inséminant la plus value, la slipur' au baquet travaillée par l'enzym', s'la r'laç' à son grand trochanter"

    and later,
    "cependant que, toutes sueurs refroidies sur ma surface éperonnée d'empalmures, je m'assoupis, orgelets tenant ouverts mes yeux bridés de force en pays samoyède, dans le froissement des toisons médianes aux doubles fesses de ceux-là, braies ouvertes, qui, secouant pour les serves bondées de lait pataugeant, lait au sein, dans la spongieuse couche de chair asiatique mâle, sous l'averse de neige, leurs reins nus cuivrés de soleil dace, se juchent sur l'escabeau verglassé du char!.., sur la surface jonchée de scions pourpres, mentons imberbes, tétons où le sang perce aux accès matricides, maillots gonflés de cette tête ovipare couvée dans le drap de collège qu'à l'équinoxe d'automne un chirurgien de voix femelle décapite!"

    To even start to get what's going on, you have to appreciate the sonorities of Franco-arabic creole, decrypt the images in the quite obscure language, get what's missing from the French and what that might mean, and finally, like the fact that as far as you can piece things together, the plot is about the nightmarish lives of teen male prostitutes in a dystopian bordello. Éden, Éden, Éden, while slightly not quite as creolized, is essentially for the first two-thirds drawn out scatological rape scenes of teen male prostitutes in a desert bordello interspersed with violence and hallucinated surroundings, and the latter third drawn out ecstatic and repetitive sex scenes of a bordello client and his young lactating wife in an oasis. This is an extremely (too ?) demanding author, and I can't even begin to imagine how to translate him. And his style only gets even more abstruse through his later work, which I've flipped though the themes and content are much the same. Hence, the SA dropping acid comment :P
    Last edited by nagisa; 28-Jul-2017 at 04:47.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Nowhere in my post you quoted did I mention or even reference Murakami. My post had absolutely nothing to do with him. Not sure why you bothered bringing him up and defending your opinion of him when nobody had commented on it.

    My point about Huong is that they have one novel of hers that was translated over 20 years ago. They don't have any works by her in any languages other than that one novel. The library widely stocks Swedish and French translations amongst others. They have none of these for her.

    I'm not going to consider her likely aside from the library thing because by virtue of the criteria I laid out earlier I see no reason why she'd win. She hasn't won any literary awards outside one one or two minor French ones, especially no major international awards. She's been five a French Order but I see no honorary degrees or anything like that.

    She largely seems to be famous just for being a dissident. According to Wikipedia (no clue if this is true) she's retired as a writer at this point. Being retired (no longer publishing new works), not having any major awards to your name, and ink the having one 21 year old publication in the official Nobel library don't really seem like the components of a prize winner.

    She was supposedly nominated by an English professor in Canada in 2009. Had she been put into consideration because of that I'd expect to see more of her works in the library.

    This has nothing to do with the quality of her writing of course. I'm just saying she seems very unlikely.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    A name that I haven't seen mentioned yet is Ben Okri. I think he ticks most if not all boxes. It's only that the Bad Sex in Fiction Award for his latest novel doesn't help.

  6. #66

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    There have been a couple of changes in the Swedish Academy for this years Nobel deliberations. Chair 9 is vacant since the passing of Torgny Lindgren in March this year and as ALRV says this will be the first year that Sara Stridsberg takes part in the decision of who will win.

    Stridsberg was elected in May 2016 as the replacement for Gunnel Vallquist who had passed away earlier that year but did not take her seat until the grand ceremony in December (which means she didn't have anything to do with the Dylan selection). This was historical because it was the first time in the history of the SA that a woman replaced another woman and also the first time that a woman was led in to the SA by another woman (Sara Danius, the permanent secretary). Stridsberg is a novelist and playwright who's born in 1972, hence the youngest member of the SA and the only one to be born in the 1970s, and who I would say is seen as one of the greatest contemporary writers here in Sweden, but I actually haven't read her myself yet. Her two most famous novels would in my opinion be Drömfakulteten (The Dream Faculty) and Beckomberga: Ode till min familj (Beckomberga: Ode to my family), of which the first one is a fictional retelling of the life of Valerie Solanas that won her the Nordic Council Literature Prize and has been voted the best Swedish novel of the 00-decade and the second one is based on her childhood memories of visits to the mental asylum Beckomberga. She has named Marguerite Duras and Elfriede Jelinek as sources of inspiration so that might be the thing she'll be leaning to when it comes to voting for the Nobel. Examples of her translations are SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas, Blasted by Sarah Kane and Buried Child by Sam Shepard.

  7. #67

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by nagisa View Post
    Well, let me introduce you to Duong Thu Huong, a vietnamese autrix (the Latin checks out) who is a political opponent to the regime and currently exiled in France, where she's widely translated. I've read Les paradis aveugles and Roman sans titre, and both are flawlessly written, uniquely immersive works.

    The first is the life of a vietnamese girl named Hang growing up between her mother and her aunt, the city and the countryside — her aunt sacrificing everything to get her ahead, her mother embroiling her in family complications, especially with her uncle. He's a zealot Communist party functionary who sells out his Hang's father for being a land-owner and class enemy, but in the end is forced to rely on his sister, Hang's mother's earnings. Hang is forced to quit her studies and go earn money in the USSR as a textile worker. A telegram from him calls her home, and the book is the unfolding of her memories.

    The second is a long, hallucinated walk of a Viet-Cong soldier through the war, and was the first of Duong's works to be banned in Vietnam. Quan, a combat unit captain, is sent far off to zone K by Luong, his superior, in order to find Bien, who is apparently going mad. The three men are childhood friends from the same village, enlisted on the same day in a war-frenzied patriotic exaltation. As Quan nears his goal, he witnesses the vanity of war and the cynicism of its instigators, and he remembers his past happy life of naive fervor. It's a searing indictment of war in general, and the people who fuel it for their own ambition, sadism or greed — and since the book deviates from orthodox glorious history and shows in lucid, lush detail these inconvenient horrors, it got banned and the autrix got imprisoned.

    They are top-quality fiction (the French translation is superb). I have sitting on my shelf two more of hers, Terre des oublis and Au zénith, but they're doorstoppers. Both are supposed to be masterpieces though, so I'll be sure to get to it and report back before the announcement. She does tick quite a few "boxes", if we must count those : woman, suitably non-European, political.



    So ; on speculations and names that have popped up :

    HR;CC (Haven't read; can't comment) : Toibin, Fosse, Marias, Cartarescu, Magris, Stoppard, Adunis, Brathwaite, Vila-Matas, Aira, Muñoz Molina, Zagajewski, Nadas, Su.

    I'm very curious about Jon Fosse. I have the trilogy Insomnie, Les rêves d'Olav and Au lever de la nuit, and the plays Visites and Variations sur la mort. To be tried out in short time.

    I also have Nadas' monumental Livre des mémoires and Histoires Parallèles (not to be attempted in short time... they are massive) ; and Magris' Danube, which looks very Europa-European and erudite.

    HR;WC (Have read; will comment) :

    NB : Any reference to "chances" of one author or another based on country, sex, politicization or any other criterion should be understood as entirely speculative, since ultimately we don't know and will rationalize things ex post facto ; entirely personal ; and entirely light-heartedly.

    Ngugi wa Thiong'o

    So far I've read The River Between, Petals of Blood, Devil on the Cross, and Wizard of the Crow. Some strong works, some less ; some embarassingly Marxist bits in retrospect. Style really blossoms with Wizard of the Crow, hitting the right notes of surreal, satirical comedy while grappling with serious issues didactically. This is according to the author's literary conviction that literature should be for the people, in a language they understand — which is why Ngugi translates his own fiction work from the original Gikuyu (since Devil on the Cross).

    A strong candidate, who also "ticks boxes" : non-European, political (wrote an entire novel in prison on toilet paper, exiled for 22 years). But I'm not sure I'd be all that happy if he won. He has some really old-school kind of Socialist realist works, with more or less stock characters fighting heroically collectively against corruption and capitalism with education and land reform demands (Petals of Blood), which looks really dated now. I haven't read his newer work though.

    Haruki Murakami

    No, nope, nuh-uh. I've stated my strong views on him before, so I'll just say 村上のスタイルはたまらなくてくどくど平ったくて退屈だ。何の面白みが惹いてこない。同じイメージや仕掛け を何度々々取り組んで仕組みなりたててばっかりだけだ。これが噂の村上様か、と何冊か読んでからぼーっと呆 れて自分に言って立ち竦んだ。冗談じゃねぇ。

    Ismail Kadare

    I'd very much like it if he won. I've read Le général de l'armée morte, Le palais des rêves, Avril brisé, and La pyramide, in the excellent French translations. He's getting on in years, and is unfashionably white-male-European, but he has political pedigree and writes engrossingly. I'm a fan.

    Yan Lianke

    Read Servir le peuple and Le rêve du village des Ding. The first is a delightfully funny kind of Chinese Lady Chatterly's Lover, where the wife of an old army officer hires a young soldier as a gardner, so her can... tend to her rosebushes (bow-chicka-bow-wow). They discover that they get incredibly turned on by destroying bits of Communist propaganda (Mao busts, Little Red Books, banners, posters, etc), an act punishable by death as it's the height of the Cultural Revolution. It made me laugh, while keeping a sharp edge to the comedy.

    I had to put down the second after a few chapters to read something cheerful, before diving in again. I'm not faint-hearted by any means, but the relentlessness of the cruelty of the novel's situations made me pause. In the poor regions of Henan, people are so destitute they resort to selling their blood in the 80's. Everyone gets AIDS, no one knows what it is, whole villages die and the people who profited from the blood business only get richer. Grandfather Ding's son is one of the main profiteers, and his grandson gets poisoned, murdered for revenge. The narrator's voice is the little boy's ghost. Grandfather Ding tries to help the afflicted amid despair, lack, hopelessness and corruption while imploring his son to apologize to the village, to acknowledge in some way that he has done harm and regrets it. The son ignores him and devises more schemes to get rich off the last remnants of the village. (This is the first few chapters, and it only gets more escalatingly brutal).

    Yan would be an interesting choice. Non-European, very political ; would be a kind of warning shot across the bow to China in the larger "arc" of the Academy, rewarding Gao, then Mo, then Yan. Dissident exile, still-waters-run-deep state writer, banned author. I wouldn't mind.

    Amos Oz

    I've only read Une panthère dans la cave, but I enjoyed it very much. Moral dilemma of an Israeli boy under British occupation who becomes a freedom fighter-or-terrorist. I don't think the Academy wants the headache of rewarding an Israeli author without a Palestinian or Arab to "balance out".

    Laszlo Krasznahorkai

    My favorite Magyar. I've read everything published in the quite pleasant French translations : Tango de Satan, Sous le coup de la grâce, La mélancolie de la résistance, Thésée universel, La venue d'Isaïe, Guerre et guerre, Au nord par une montagne au sud par un lac à l'ouest par des chemins à l'est par un cours d'eau (yes that's one title). I'm a fan, but at this point, it may be better for him to never get it, joining other "damned" geniuses like Thomas Bernhard, Juan Goytisolo, or Kafka.

    Mia Couto

    I've only read Sleepwalking Land, but it was very enjoyable. Perhaps Nobel caliber ? Ticks the "African" box.

    Salman Rushdie

    Bof, as we say in French. I'll give that he's Nobel-caliber with The Satanic Verses and Midnight's Children, Shame is quite good, his children's stuff isn't bad. He definitely political. It just seems past his time.

    Antonio Lobo Antunes

    Very impressed this year by this guy. I read Explication des oiseaux and was blown away : a trip in fractured prose through four days in the fractured mind of a man who has failed at everything and is ready to die. I've stockpiled some of his work and will read La farce des damnés soon. I'd be pleased to see him get it, since apparently Saramago has dampened Portugal's "chances", but like Krasznahorkai, it's maybe better that he remain a "damned genius".

    Tahar Ben Jelloun

    Double bof, as we say in French. Cloying, self-indulgent literary noodling in reverse-Orientalist mode.

    Dubravka Ugrešić

    I didn't especially like (or remember) The Museum of Unconditional Surrender I got on a whim in Dubrovnik (Ugresic is Croatian, and the difficulty of having a nationality thrust upon you by the violent disintegration of another is key in her work). I was much more pleased with The Ministry of Pain. I understand she's an essayist with a fair breadth of work but I've read none. Ticks the "woman" and "political" boxes ; could serve as a warning for European unity ?

    David Grossman

    I've only read Le sourire de l'agneau, his first work, which is quite dense : four voices, four characters in the middle of the Israeli occupation in the 80's. Uri, the "lamb", a kind soldier ; Shosh, his wife who works with troubled children and is hiding a terrible secret ; Katzman, Uri's morally agonized superior officer that Shosh is sleeping with ; and Hilmi, the half-mad old Arab man whose son has died, to whom Uri was once kind. I want to read Un cheval rentre dans un bar, which earned him his Man Booker. Maybe Nobel-caliber ? But, like Oz, maybe hobbled by nationality.

    Margaret Atwood

    Nah. Too commercial at the moment (though... Dylan)

    Karl Ove Knausgaard

    Please no.

    Maryse Condé

    I truly like her, and Moi Tituba sorcière noire de Salem is definitely worth a read. Tituba, the black slave at the center of the Salmen Witch Trials, finally gets to tell her story. The two-volume Ségou is an impressive work of historical fiction, about the many descendants of one family rooted in the kingdom of Segu (modern-day Mali and thereabouts) in the 19th century, soon to be brought low by Islamic and European conquest and slave-trading. But I don't think she's Nobel-caliber.

    Sofi Oksanen

    Good stuff. I've Purge and Les vaches de Staline, and was impressed each time how she manages to write complex, damaged women — damaged both by their own problems, but also by the upheavals of History. Nobel-caliber ? I worry about her breadth of topics, both touch on very similar ground.


    And finally, if the SA decides to drop acid before deciding...

    I predict Pierre Guyotat. Think French Finnegans Wake Joyce-level fuckery with language coupled with an obsession for le putain (the transcendent condition of male whoredom), scatological rape, and war.


    So in conclusion, top few picks/preferred winners :

    Duong Thu Huong
    Ismail Kadare
    Antonio Lobo Antunes
    Ngugi wa Thiong'o
    Merci pour cette analyse. Je me cherche toujours du nouveau matériel à lire en français. Do you have any other recommendations?

    Mia Couto does tick the "African" box in a way, but why not try and find a black African writer who is worthy of the Nobel? Out of 4 African Nobel laureates, 2 are white. That seems a bit disproportionate considering that whites are a very small minority, and there is that whole colonialism thing that is attached to their presence.

  8. #68

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post

    I'm not going to consider her likely aside from the library thing because by virtue of the criteria I laid out earlier I see no reason why she'd win. She hasn't won any literary awards outside one one or two minor French ones, especially no major international awards. She's been five a French Order but I see no honorary degrees or anything like that.

    I wonder about the prizes.

    Wisława Szymborska won two the Gottfried-von-Herder-Preis and the Goethepreis der Stadt Frankfurt, neither of which are much reported in international press.

    Gao Xingjian had basically won nothing of import. Same with Wole Soyinka.

    I don’t believe Dario Fo’s prizes are that much of a big deal in the literary world, either.

    Seifert didn’t win any thing?

    Sachs was not very visible, either.

    Aleixandre won two Spanish awards.


    Dương Thu Hương has a bit to her name:

    Récompenses artistiques
    1994 : Médaille de chevalier des arts et des lettres (France).
    2001 : Prix de la Fondation du Prince Claus pour la Culture et le Développement (Pays-Bas). Cette récompense lui a été remise en raison de l'illustration d'une vision socialement critique et d'un attachement à la liberté et au progrès9.
    2005 : Prix littéraire Premio Grinzane Cavour (Italie) pour le roman Au-delà des illusions
    2007: Grand Prix des Lectrices du magazine Elle (Terre des oublis)
    2009: Prix Laure Bataillon de la meilleure œuvre traduite en français pour Au zénith, traduit du vietnamien par Phuong Dang Tran10

    Nominations littéraires
    1991 : Prix Femina du meilleur roman étranger (Les paradis aveugles)
    1996 : Prix Femina du meilleur roman étranger (Au-delà des illusions)
    1997 : International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (Roman sans titre)
    2006 : Prix Femina du meilleur roman étranger (Terre des oublis)

    2005: Oxfam Novib/PEN Award

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Those are all older wins. With the prizes I'm more specifically looking at winners since 2001, since the start of this new century, when the onslaught of all these international literary awards really ramped up

    She's won awards like I mentioned, but they're all French language ones and none of them are really significant, important French awards (at least they don't seem to be).

    Ben Okri was mentioned above.

    If you look at older Nobel news articles from the late 1990s and early 2000s journalists mention him as being in contention for the prize (supposedly). Since then though he's basically completely dropped out of being mentioned at all. To me, he doesn't really seem like anyone who's mentioned as writing important works anymore or who even comes up in discussions often. I don't see him as being likely.

    While this isn't a prize for racial equality (obviously), it seems unlikely that they'd want to award a 2nd (3rd if you consider North Africans "white," which many people do) white African writer if there are viable black options. To me it seems more likely that Thiongo gets it or they wait 10 years and give it to Adichie.

    Couto fits the critiera of a winner in theory but I haven't read anything by him so I can't really say much besides that.
    Last edited by Isahoinp; 28-Jul-2017 at 19:10.

  10. #70

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Ah, gotcha. I still think no matter how clear your guidelines are, it's difficult to game the system. The Academy is fallible and makes arbitrary, shocking decisions: case in points, Orhan Pamuk winning for politics when he's one of the weakest laureates I've ever read; Modiano being a bizarre choice (there are just so many good authors writing in French, his win is so strange); ...and Bob Dylan.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    In the light of her retirement and following the recent SA trend of rewarding the unconventional, the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 is awarded to the New York Times critic, Michiko Kakutani, "for her fearless and often scathing reviews of contemporary literature and her insightful commentary on politics and culture."

    Hahaha. Imagine!!

  12. #72

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    I've never actually read any of her work but I'm wondering what everybody here thinks about Elena Ferrante? There seems to be a lot of buzz around her work lately. Could she be a viable candidate?

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthEastAsianLit View Post
    In the light of her retirement and following the recent SA trend of rewarding the unconventional, the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 is awarded to the New York Times critic, Michiko Kakutani, "for her fearless and often scathing reviews of contemporary literature and her insightful commentary on politics and culture."

    Hahaha. Imagine!!
    I doubt any of you will find this surprising, but I hate her reviews.

    I've seen so many instances where she'll diss an international (non-English) author and give the work a mediocre to negative review and if you've read the book ad then her review it seems pretty obvious she didn't "get" it at all.

    She also seems beholden to praising the older American authors beloved by the NYC literary scene no matter how much of a turd they produce. I've seen numerous instances where other reviewers will say the book is one of an author's weakest works and that's it's basically crap and her review will be like "It's so special and great, it just sounds so much like their voice. They're an American treasure!" And she'll shrug off actually analyzing or discussing the bulk of the book, let alone refuting any of the negative points other reviewers have brought up.

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V View Post
    Ah, gotcha. I still think no matter how clear your guidelines are, it's difficult to game the system. The Academy is fallible and makes arbitrary, shocking decisions: case in points, Orhan Pamuk winning for politics when he's one of the weakest laureates I've ever read; Modiano being a bizarre choice (there are just so many good authors writing in French, his win is so strange); ...and Bob Dylan.
    Orhan Pamuk has been heavily favored the year before he won so hed been in contention for a while. He'd also won the International Dublin Literary Award and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. His win was very logical imo. It was hardly for politics. Politics became involved during that period, but he'd been probably been discussed as a candidate for a few years before winning.

    I own a bunch of his works but have only read The White Castle so far. I hated it. Even then though, I've read plenty of "worse" winners.

    Modiano had just won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, was the correct age, and likely had been nominated by Le Clezio (Le Clezio wrote the introduction to Modiano's latest English translation).

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by hoodoo View Post
    I've never actually read any of her work but I'm wondering what everybody here thinks about Elena Ferrante? There seems to be a lot of buzz around her work lately. Could she be a viable candidate?
    I'd say not a chance. They're not going to award a faceless, anonymous person who doesn't make public appearances and could essentially be anybody. The prize still wants to maintain some semblance of awarding an actual person rather than a name. For this reason Pynchon will never win either (I'm also guessing that's why he hasn't won any awards aside from a Nationals Book Award 40 years ago).

  16. #76

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    I'd say not a chance. They're not going to award a faceless, anonymous person who doesn't make public appearances and could essentially be anybody. The prize still wants to maintain some semblance of awarding an actual person rather than a name. For this reason Pynchon will never win either (I'm also guessing that's why he hasn't won any awards aside from a Nationals Book Award 40 years ago).
    I don't think that Pynchon would be a viable candidate. Bleeding Edge was nominated a few years ago for the National Book Award, but I feel as though he hasn't really written anything good since Mason and Dixon.

  17. #77

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    Orhan Pamuk has been heavily favored the year before he won so hed been in contention for a while. He'd also won the International Dublin Literary Award and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. His win was very logical imo. It was hardly for politics. Politics became involved during that period, but he'd been probably been discussed as a candidate for a few years before winning.

    I own a bunch of his works but have only read The White Castle so far. I hated it. Even then though, I've read plenty of "worse" winners.

    Modiano had just won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, was the correct age, and likely had been nominated by Le Clezio (Le Clezio wrote the introduction to Modiano's latest English translation).
    I'd disagree with your stance on Pamuk. His was in the news heavily in 2005, not for his books but for his trial (which is why he was in the air as a contender and on the top five for the betting lists - a visible author who people thought coincided with the Nobel interfering with politics). He won the same year as that was dropped. I'd argue they awarded him then to show solidarity and not repeat the mistake of the Rushdie affair. Him being "young" also suggests he was an "in-the-moment decision". Quite a few articles have been written on this. His English translator had to write an essay defending him winning NOT for politics but for his skill as an author. He's a horrid author, full of cliches, with poor plots, boring, stilted dialogue -- a wallmart-version of magical realist masters. Here's a recent twitter conversation on him with some respected literary individuals:

    https://twitter.com/a_nathanwest/sta...14641703813122

    I believe Le Clézio nominates Korean authors. This is a guess, but in all the interviews after his win, he's talking about them. He did give an interview in French in 2003 where he said De si braves garçons was a masterpiece. Did they just repurpose that as an introduction?

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V View Post
    Here's a recent twitter conversation on him with some respected literary individuals:

    https://twitter.com/a_nathanwest/sta...14641703813122

    I believe Le Clézio nominates Korean authors. This is a guess, but in all the interviews after his win, he's talking about them. He did give an interview in French in 2003 where he said De si braves garçons was a masterpiece. Did they just repurpose that as an introduction?
    I wouldn't really call any of those people on twitter "respected literary individuals." It's like two or three translators of little renown. It's especially hard for me to care about the opinion of the poster considering he has a giant Black Flag tattoo on his bicep. The other guy is a columnist ion LitHub, which is essentially a blog, and as I've pointed out elsewhere, frequently publishes articles full of factual errors by severely under-qualified individuals. Sure, they have far more literary renown than I'll likely ever have, but it's not like a panel of PhDs or award-winning, highly regarded authors.

    If Pamuk is the worst Nobel winner they've read then they clearly haven't read many winners. As there are sooo many "worse" writers who have won.

    Also, posting a few sentences of a paragraph as evidence that a novel is badly written hardly amounts to anything. The guy's twitter account and blog make him sound like a conceited douche. He has a post called "Black People" where he talks about how much he was able to relate to black people who had scary tattoos because he likes Rap and black people are rappers.

  19. #79

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    uhh...

    "Scott Esposito's criticism has appeared in Bookforum, the Los Angeles Times, the Review of Contemporary Fiction, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The National, The Point, Tin House, The Paris Review Daily, and numerous others. He has also written introductions to novels for the Dalkey Archive Press and Melville House Publishing. He is the editor of online publications for San Francisco's Center for the Art of Translation and has been a consultant on translated literature for presses including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McSweeney's, Graywolf, and Open Letter. He is also the editor in chief for The Quarterly Conversation, an online periodical of book reviews and essays."

    “Scott Esposito is the co-author of The End of Oulipo?, with Lauren Elkin. His writing has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Words Without Borders, The White Review, The Point, Bookforum, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many others. He is a senior editor of the journal of translation Two Lines and directs publicity for the translation presses Two Lines Press and Deep Vellum.”

    http://www.zero-books.net/authors/scott-esposito
    https://pen.org/user/scott-esposito/

    He also has a phd from Berkeley.

    “Adrian West is a writer and translator whose work has appeared in numerous publications including McSweeney’s, 3:AM, and the Review of Contemporary Fiction. His book-length translations include Josef Winkler’s When the Time Comes and Alma Venus by the Catalan poet Pere Gimferrer. He lives between Spain and the United States with the cinema critic Beatriz Leal Riesco.”

    “Adrian Nathan West is the author of the novel The Aesthetics of Degradation and translator of numerous works of contemporary European literature. He lives between Spain and the United States with the cinema critic Beatriz Leal Riesco.”

    http://www.wordswithoutborders.org/c...an-nathan-west
    http://www.restlessbooks.com/adrian-nathan-west/

    He’s also won translation awards and has a graduate degree.
    Last edited by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V; 29-Jul-2017 at 06:40.

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Du lieber Himmel... Relax guys

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