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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

  1. #461
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    I always prefer the Ladbrokes list as it possesses the largest list of writers and that makes it more interesting to get to know new ones. Those who, like me and many members of this forum, have followed Ladbrokes bet for many years get to know the usual starting bets for the writers always present. No surprise to watch at the top writers like Murakami or Thiong’o. So who has an unusual initial number could indicate a possible leak of a short list. This year, what caught my eye are the following:

    Claudio Magris 10/1
    Javier Marías 10/1
    Yan Lianke 14/1
    César Aira 20/1

    Atwood being so high could be deduced for the prizes she has received this year and possible her success at TV. Hard to see her winning after Munro and Dylan in recent years.

  2. #462
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    I always prefer the Ladbrokes list as it possesses the largest list of writers and that makes it more interesting to get to know new ones. Those who, like me and many members of this forum, have followed Ladbrokes bet for many years get to know the usual starting bets for the writers always present. No surprise to watch at the top writers like Murakami or Thiong’o. So who has an unusual initial number could indicate a possible leak of a short list. This year, what caught my eye are the following:

    Claudio Magris 10/1
    Javier Marías 10/1
    Yan Lianke 14/1
    César Aira 20/1

    Atwood being so high could be deduced for the prizes she has received this year and possible her success at TV. Hard to see her winning after Munro and Dylan in recent years.
    Magris is going up and down through the years. If I remember well he was number 1 in the opening odds of 2008 or 2009. But you maybe right about these 4 names. I miss female writers though. I have a strong feeling that they want to keep switching M/F. So that makes Tokarcuk, Kareva and Ugresic important candidates as well. If one of them is number 5 on the shortlist...

  3. #463
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    I don't expect he'll win this year (wrong sex and writing in English...) but John Banville would seem to me a serious contender, and someone to watch in the next few years. Since the death of Seamus Heaney, Ireland finds itself without a Nobel laureate, something which hasn't happened a lot in the past 100 years. Banville is 71, an age that puts him firmly in the game, and he has a serious track record of major prize wins (the Booker, the James Tait Black Prize, Kafka Prize, Austrian State Prize, Prince of Asturias Award etc.). He has also written some impressive and hugely acclaimed novels.
    Maybe hauling around a pseudonym (his Benjamin Black persona) might damage his claim a bit, though it really shouldn't as those books have their merit, too. And he is about to publish a new novel in the first week of October, 'Mrs Osmond', a sequel to Henry James' 'Portrait of Lady'. So he hardly lacks ambition.
    There are some other Irish writers who could fall into consideration, but I can't see any of them being a better fit than Banville.

  4. #464
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Claudio Magris 10/1
    Javier Marías 10/1
    Yan Lianke 14/1
    César Aira 20/1

    Atwood being so high could be deduced for the prizes she has received this year and possible her success at TV. Hard to see her winning after Munro and Dylan in recent years.
    All of the authors you listed have recently won prizes.

    Magris - 2016 Franz Kafka Prize
    Marias - Several smaller prizes over the last several years. Nearly anytime he's reviewed or discussed in English language press they mention the Nobel. I'm sure the lay bettor doing some quick Googling for betting options would stumble across his name constantly being mentioned.
    Lianke - 2015 Kafka Prize
    Aira - America Award 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by anchomal View Post
    I can't see any of them being a better fit than Banville.


    Colm Toibin.

    Banville has spent the last decade or so pumping out genre fiction crime novels (roughly ten or so crime works in the last ten years compared to six-ish "literary" works) as "Benjamin Black." To me, this seems like the sort of thing that could disqualify him from being seriously considered.

  5. #465
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    Colm Toibin.

    Banville has spent the last decade or so pumping out genre fiction crime novels (roughly ten or so crime works in the last ten years compared to six-ish "literary" works) as "Benjamin Black." To me, this seems like the sort of thing that could disqualify him from being seriously considered.
    I'm not sure the Benjamin Black novels will have hurt Banville as much as you seem to think. They are, undoubtedly, genre novels, but if you've read them (I admit I've only read three) you'll know that they're not as simplistic as "pumping" them out makes them sound. Lesser, perhaps, than his 'literary' output but certainly not to be so easily dismissed. Apparently he was inspired to write them because of a passion for Simenon's romans durs. And (in Ireland, at least) he is generally regarded as our greatest living writer (including by Tóibín, who has stated as much on several occasions). I suppose I am thinking purely in terms of Banville's best work and the quality of his prose, the sheer beauty of his language.

    Colm Tóibín could come into the conversation, but I'd say it's still too soon for him. A more likely candidate might be Edna O'Brien, who has a big international reputation and has produced a broad and interesting body of work. The snag is that she's 86, but that's still younger than Doris Lessing was when she won.

  6. #466
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    All of the authors you listed have recently won prizes.

    Magris - 2016 Franz Kafka Prize
    Marias - Several smaller prizes over the last several years. Nearly anytime he's reviewed or discussed in English language press they mention the Nobel. I'm sure the lay bettor doing some quick Googling for betting options would stumble across his name constantly being mentioned.
    Lianke - 2015 Kafka Prize
    Aira - America Award 2016



    Colm Toibin.

    Banville has spent the last decade or so pumping out genre fiction crime novels (roughly ten or so crime works in the last ten years compared to six-ish "literary" works) as "Benjamin Black." To me, this seems like the sort of thing that could disqualify him from being seriously considered.
    2015 or 2016 is not really recent. Of course most of the listed authors have received prizes. Plus the America Award is something no one cares.

  7. #467

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    I've never heard of the America Award. Though that does make me wonder about what this magical list of internationally regarded awards actually includes. I suspect many of them are as easily disregarded if we were to better understand the process of the awards as, say, the Neustadt Prize. Few organizations can put the money or time into the selection of their prize winner in the same way that the Academy can. And, you know, euro-centrism, patriarchy, white-celebration, translation availability, and all that stuff all affect the ability of any of these committees to effectively select the best options for the prizes. There is also a noticeable reduction in the focus of these prizes - few new names are getting tossed into the fold and a lot of authors (Murakami and Attwood come to mind) are receiving lots of awards as a show of me-too-ism, as far as I can tell. I wouldn't say they aren't worthy of the prizes (ok, with Atwood I would say that), but I wonder at the discernment of some of these committees to select somebody else who hasn't been awarded by another one of the "major international prizes".

  8. #468
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    2015 or 2016 is not really recent. Of course most of the listed authors have received prizes. Plus the America Award is something no one cares.
    I wouldn't say that. Nearly every winner is a frequently discussed Nobel contender and Nobel laureates have won it as well. There's other prizes being mentioned that matter just a little if not less.

  9. #469

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Side-stepping the conversation and tossing a new name out there - one that hasn't been mentioned for a few years in these threads if I'm correct. I don't think they is a serious contender for this year given all sorts of reasons, and may now be knocked out of contention for the rest of their life, but I am reading my first collection by them and I do think it is quite good poetry, at times exceptional, and never dipping into the territory of mediocre or bad.

    And so, how do you folks feel about WS Merwin. Has anybody read his work? Liam? Does anybody know if the quality that I am reading in Garden Time is consistently shown in the rest of his work?

  10. #470
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Never read him, but just as a very surface level dismissal I'd assume he'll never win it because he too old and because an American poet won last year.

  11. #471
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Merwin is wonderful and, like Mary Oliver, manages to please almost everybody. I don't know his poetry supremely well, but I was delighted by what I did read, including his many translations. Together with Oliver, he shares a deep concern for the planet's ecology, a stance that is becoming more and more relevant in our day and age. I haven't read his latest collection (the one you are reading) so can't comment, but how's this for a super-interesting fact about him: he has lived in Hawaii (in a rural area, formerly a pineapple plantation) for almost fifty years! Like, OMG!

  12. #472
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by anchomal View Post
    I don't expect he'll win this year (wrong sex and writing in English...) but John Banville would seem to me a serious contender, and someone to watch in the next few years. Since the death of Seamus Heaney, Ireland finds itself without a Nobel laureate, something which hasn't happened a lot in the past 100 years. Banville is 71, an age that puts him firmly in the game, and he has a serious track record of major prize wins (the Booker, the James Tait Black Prize, Kafka Prize, Austrian State Prize, Prince of Asturias Award etc.). He has also written some impressive and hugely acclaimed novels.
    Maybe hauling around a pseudonym (his Benjamin Black persona) might damage his claim a bit, though it really shouldn't as those books have their merit, too. And he is about to publish a new novel in the first week of October, 'Mrs Osmond', a sequel to Henry James' 'Portrait of Lady'. So he hardly lacks ambition.
    There are some other Irish writers who could fall into consideration, but I can't see any of them being a better fit than Banville.
    I hope not. Banville has always struck me as a supremely pompous bore, crabwalking his way to profundity or originality. Put yourself to sleep by watching any of his interviews on Youtube. Anyone who begins a novel with a sentence like "I am, therefore I think." or "Chance was in the beginning." should be permanently removed from consideration for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

    Ireland I'm afraid is in for a barren spell after punching above its weight from 1923-1995. I would prefer Paul Muldoon or Sebastian Barry as future winners, the former having the edge due to his trans-Atlantic presence and having created a niche position for himself as playful wordsmith extraordinaire.

  13. #473
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    As much as I've enjoyed reading Banville in the past, something tells me he's not quite "right" for the directional purpose of the Prize (the whole "idealistic" bit)--but then, neither was Elfriede Jelinek. His fiction is very literary, it's pretty, the sentences are delicious to read; and yes, some of the themes he touches on could arguably be seen as "profound," but by and large he just loves to dabble in unreliable narration. That's his point of strength. I'm just not sure it's enough to be the SA's cuppa,

  14. #474
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by OverTheMountains View Post
    And so, how do you folks feel about WS Merwin. Has anybody read his work? Liam? Does anybody know if the quality that I am reading in Garden Time is consistently shown in the rest of his work?
    Since you ask, I think W. S. Merwin is simply too great a poet to win the Nobel. Garden Time is a wonderful book, and it is not even his best. All the Merwin specialists recommend you skip the poetry before The Lice so I have for now, but I'll double back at some point. Liam is absolutely on point in mentioning his translations; Selected Translations, will add dozens of names to your for-further-reading-list. If you want to see the palm forest Merwin created you should seek out the DVD Even Though the Whole World Is Burning. Well I gush, so maybe I should mention Merwin's weak point, his prose, which never fails to bore me. But who cares, he is a poet, so you read the poetry.

    As you already know, OTM, the poetry is well worth reading.

  15. #475
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    I don't think the SA would hold Banville's crime novels against him. I think the SA is changing, becoming more inclusive of genres, and while those books certainly won't win him the nobel, they probably won't cost him it either. As for Atwood, I wouldn't count her out just yet. A fair amount of people were predicting a woman winner this year, now that the odds are out, she's the only woman so far with suspiciously high odds. I don't think Dylan would affect her chances, and as for Munro, Lessing won 2 years after Pinter, and Modiano won 7 after Le Clezio. 4 years after Munro seems like enough time that the SA won't write her off strictly based on geography. Also, her mix of literary and science fiction (despite her refusal to call it that) might appeal to this new SA trying to expand literature.

    The names I'd mark off as significant in the odds are:
    Margaret Atwood 6/1 across the board (Based on the little I've read of her, it wouldn't be a tragedy if she won or lost)
    Amos Oz 13/2, 10/1 (I think at closing last year he was at 25/1, weird to suddenly jump up)
    Yan Lianke 14/1, 10/1 (A win by him wouldn't tarnish the award or anything, but his work has always left me feeling meh. Not amazing, not bad, just decent; I think a lot of his acclaim has come from his politics, although I haven't read his 2 most recent books in English)
    Magris 14/1, 10/1 (Didn't he shoot up to be the favorite the year Müller won? I don't know if he's published anything recently that ranks with Danube, but I think once perennial candidates reach a certain age, the SA is more forgiving about recent work (ex. Llosa, Tranströmer, Grass, Naipaul)
    Javier Marias 17/1, 10/1 (Surprised at how young he is: 65. He's been discussed for a while, but rarely had high odds. Maybe being a bit older now could help)

    Aira doesn't seem like the type of writer the SA would like, and I have mixed feelings about the books I've read by him so far. Out of those, Magris would be my favorite pick, followed by Marias and Oz then Atwood and lastly Lianke (). Like I've said before, Magris's works fit in well with expanding the definition of literature.

    But that's just based on the odds, and in 2014 Modiano didn't even start off on the betting list (or if he was, he was really far down, at like 100/1). Ngugi has been a perennial favorite for a while but I think he has an advantage compared to past years because the last (I think?) volume of his memoirs recently came out. I just picked one of them up

    Isa, in your opinion, wouldn't those names with high odds having recent awards make them more likely winners? Perhaps those could help one of them win.
    Last edited by redheadshadz; 14-Sep-2017 at 13:34. Reason: Added odds and commentary to the five writers I picked out

  16. #476
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Posting this list for reference later:
    Highest
    odds
    Lowest
    odds
    Haruki Murakami 6.00 2.50
    Ngugi Wa Thiong'o 6.00 5.00
    Margaret Atwood 7.00 7.00
    Amos Oz 11.00 7.50
    Adunis 13.00 13.00
    Claudio Magris 15.00 11.00
    Yan Lianke 15.00 11.00
    Don Delilo 15.00 15.00
    Ko Un 17.00 17.00
    Javier Marías 18.00 11.00
    Jon Fosse 19.00 18.00
    Antonio Lobo Antunes 21.00 21.00
    César Aira 21.00 21.00
    Ismail Kadaré 21.00 21.00
    A. B. Yehoshua 26.00 26.00
    Daniel Kahneman 26.00 26.00
    Joyce Carol Oates 26.00 26.00
    Peter Handke 26.00 26.00
    Philip Roth 26.00 26.00
    Péter Nádas 29.00 29.00
    László Krasznahorkai 31.00 21.00
    David Grossman 34.00 21.00
    Doris Kareva 34.00 34.00
    Dubravka Ugrešic 34.00 34.00
    John Banville 34.00 34.00
    Juan Marse 34.00 34.00
    Kjell Askildsen 34.00 34.00
    Merethe Lindstrřm 34.00 34.00
    Mircea Cartarescu 34.00 34.00
    Tahar Ben Jelloun 34.00 34.00
    Ursula K. Le Guin 34.00 34.00
    Gerald Murnane 51.00 26.00
    Adam Zagajewski 51.00 34.00
    Colm Toibin 51.00 51.00
    Jaan Kaplinski 51.00 51.00
    Jussi Adler-Olsen 51.00 51.00
    Leonard Nolens 51.00 51.00
    Les Murray 51.00 51.00
    Lydia Davis 51.00 51.00
    Marilynne Robinson 51.00 51.00
    Milan Kundera 51.00 51.00
    Nawal El Saadawi 51.00 51.00
    Navid Kermani 51.00 51.00
    Olga Tokarczuk 51.00 51.00
    Yevgeniy Yevtushenko 51.00 51.00
    Tom Stoppard 67.00 21.00
    Bei Dao 67.00 67.00
    Cees Nooteboom 67.00 67.00
    Charles Portis 67.00 67.00
    Cormac Mc Carthy 67.00 67.00
    Dacia Maraini 67.00 67.00
    David Malouf 67.00 67.00
    Eduardo Mendoza-Garriga 67.00 67.00
    Elena Ferrante 67.00 67.00
    Enrique Vila-Matas 67.00 67.00
    Joan Didion 67.00 67.00
    Juan Goytisolo 67.00 67.00
    Julian Barnes 67.00 67.00
    Karol Schoeman 67.00 67.00
    Nuruddin Farah 67.00 67.00
    Paul Muldoon 67.00 67.00
    Peter Carey 67.00 67.00
    Rohinton Mistry 67.00 67.00
    Thomas Pynchon 67.00 67.00
    William Trevor 67.00 67.00
    Mia Couto 81.00 34.00
    Richard Ford 81.00 81.00
    Karl Ove Knausgĺrd 101.00 71.00
    Salman Rushdie 101.00 81.00
    A. S. Byatt 101.00 101.00
    Don Patterson 101.00 101.00
    F Sionil José 101.00 101.00
    Hilary Mantel 101.00 101.00
    James Kelman 101.00 101.00
    John Ashbery 101.00 101.00
    Kamau Brathwaite 101.00 101.00

  17. #477

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    I still haven't understood how to read the nicerodds table. Why does it have lots of rows with no names?

  18. #478
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Are you talking about the table I posted? Other than "Highest Odds" and "Lowest Odds" being shifted over a row at the top, it appears ok for me. If you mean on the actual website, it's a aggregate website, so if a writer is listed on ladbrokes and not on Unibet, the Unibet portion for them is left blank. Since ladbrokes has a ton more writers than either of the other sites listed, there are a lot of names with blank spaces.

    Edit: Rather than double posting, I'll add this here about Claudio Magris: It appears his first novel in 9 years was published in 2015, translated into English as Blameless. He had published essays, etc, in that interim, but those typically don't win Nobels. A glance at the book synopsis suggests it's in the same vein as Blindly and glances at reviews make it seem on par with his other major work but incredibly difficult. Lot of speculation that could verge on crackpottedness: wonder if Blameless could help explain his rise this year; it could also explain his waxing and waning odds over the years. When he was number one in 2008/2009, his latest fiction book would have been relatively recent by Nobel standards, and then during that gap in novels his odds slowly sank. Perhaps the academy, after deciding he wasn't worthy back then, could be reevaluating his work now.
    Last edited by redheadshadz; 14-Sep-2017 at 17:44.

  19. #479
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Aira doesn't seem like the type of writer the SA would like, and I have mixed feelings about the books I've read by him so far. Out of those, Magris would be my favorite pick, followed by Marias and Oz then Atwood and lastly Lianke (). Like I've said before, Magris's works fit in well with expanding the definition of literature.
    Last weekend I went to a talk with Cesar Aira at HayFestival Querétaro. When he was questioned about his Nobel possibilities he basically said that not a single writer has won the Nobel by only writing books. He didn't say anything else but I'm sure he was talking about politics primarily, but also acquaintances, geographic situations, etc.

    Here's an interview from last week, quite interesting I may say:

    http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/cultur...is-decadencias

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 Speculation

    Thanks, that's interesting, and can't really argue with his point about the Nobel. Which of Aira's books do you like?

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