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Thread: The Shadow Nobel Prize

  1. #1

    Default The Shadow Nobel Prize

    In January we will be learning about the deliberations that took place in the awarding of the 1967 Nobel Prize in Literature, awarded to Miguel Angel Asturias. Every year this tends to create a short thread (click here to see the appropriate thread from last year). Included in this we should learn of the five-person short list that was presented to the Academy, which is always intriguing.

    I've got a reading/community building idea on my mind. We could, as a board, become a Nobel committee of sorts. To be on the committee one would have to commit one book from each of the short-listed authors. It does not have to be the same book as everybody else, but it does have to be a book which you feel could be used to defend or argue against that author's worthiness for the award.

    Through the year, through the reading of the books, we would all discuss our various observations and ideas and insights, have fun, debate and agree and disagree, all that fun stuff. And then, prior to the last week of September, we would all get together in some silly internet manner - either via private messages or even in an public display, and decide on who we think, based on the singular books we have read, should have won the Nobel Prize of 1967.

    Anybody can be on the committee, of course. I'm not into excluding anybody for any reason. But it does come with a commitment to read the books, to talk about the books with everybody else, and to be involved in the final deliberations.

    Now, I think it would also be interesting to toss in the opportunity to bring in two other names, making up a "longer short list" so that we are not confined to the preferences of the academy, with these two names being agreed upon by all participants early in the year - say, by the end of February. That could be fun, bringing in some other options for us to consider, and maybe some less familiar voices. Of course, some parameters would have to be included, but that would be true of anything if this game is to take off.

    So, I suppose, this is a thread to scope out if there is interest in something of this nature on this message board and, if there is, to see what parameters would be.

    I'm in.

    With at least two or three others to join in I think we could make a go of it and see how it is.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    I'd be down

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    I'm in I guess. I suppose it depends on how involved this ends up being though.

    I think an easier idea for voting would be after discussions we open an anonymous online poll. Members can be private messaged a link for their one vote (to avoid spam votes or rigging). Depending on the results we can narrow down a shortlist to a final two or three (as the Academy frequently does this) then vote again.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    Ha! This sounds extremely fun! I hope I get to contribute, I'm not sure how busy I would be. Or if I would have anything substantial to say but I'm sure I will get to reading all shortlisted authors and come up with a vote. I've read Asturias and I really loved him although I think I have some bias for Spanish-language writers.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    Yeah, that sounds really fun, and I was thinking of reading possible future noble authors anyway, so...

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    Very interesting idea. I'm in.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    Ok.

    So there are six of us. That's great.

    Myself
    Leopold
    Bartleby
    CapreseBoi
    Isahoinp
    Redheadshadz

    That makes for a fun little collective.

    How do you all feel about the anonymous online poll idea to select the winner? If my reading of Isahoinp's idea is correct it would be weighted I suppose, knocking out the bottom few out of contention after the first round until we have somebody who gets at least fifty percent of support? Or are we wanting something higher, like... 4 or 5 of the six? We could also do a point system, whereby each contributor sends in a secret ballot ranking the contenders, and then each position on the ranking gets a certain number of points (1st place would get 6, second place would get 5, third = 4 fourth = 3, that kind of thing), and then, when we announce the winner we can publish the ballots (anonymously if we prefer) and then, hopefully, we can develop a bit more discussion.

    In terms of books to read, I think we would have to read books which had been published prior to 1967.

    I would be curious to see what you guys think about suggesting new names to the shortlist. We will surely see names on there that were later awarded, which is ok, but it might be fun to add somebody who was around at the time, prominent, producing great work, and didn't make the shortlist for whatever reason, and who never went on to win... just to expand the body of literature that we are checking out. But that is a thought. I can't come up with the mechanisms that would outline how this works.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    Quote Originally Posted by OverTheMountains View Post
    Ok.

    So there are six of us. That's great.
    i feel like there will be more that will join in the coming months no? When do they release the shortlist? january 2018 right?

    as for voting, would you guys like the kind of voting they do for the best picture in the oscars? the preferential voting.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    I wouldn't mind if the voting were anonymous. But I think it would be a little bit more fun if everyone knew what was each other's call and if we could debate it, like I believe the real nobel committee does... It would take more time, I suppose, with everyone ferociously disagreeing on who should make it to the list, but it might be fun regardless

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    I have no intention to spoil your party and if I had more time to read I would have joined, (it's just that the idea of having to read at least five books in a row of 50 or more years old in a relatively short period of time doesn't really appeal to me), but be prepared that there may be shortlisted nominees whose works have not or hardly been translated in English. Some may have fallen into oblivion outside of their home country and since they did not win 'The Prize', there has been no reason to publish their works in English. I am specifically thinking of Simon Vestdijk, who was nominated three times in 1966, including by one of the Academy members. So it is not unthinkable that he was shortlisted one year later. Only a handful of his 52 novels appeared in English and those were not necessarily his best in my opinion. Had he won, probably almost his entire oeuvre would have been translated. Also, it is possible that the shortlist consists for more than half of writers who went on to win one of the next years. Are they excluded from the Shadow Nobel Prize? And if you are going to do the same thing again next year, can they get this prize more than once if they have been shortlisted several years before winning? I know it's all just for fun, these were just a few thoughts. I'm already curious about the first laureate. Maybe the rest of the members can set up a speculation thread about it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    I’m fully agree with Bartleby: anonymous voting can be effective, when result is important. Here process itself much more important. Maybe in our case open debates can give more insights and …. “virtual embodiment”))))

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize

    Peter is right with saying the possibility of obscure shortlisted authors. Hmmm... What are we to do if that happens...

    But I'm already really getting excited about this to be honest, I mean, I'm already wondering who would win. And a motivation to read! Again! I need that ahaha.

    And yeah, a future Nobel winner can be shortlisted. I suggest that, if ever he wins the SNP, on the next years he will be considered again by the real Nobel committee until he finally wins the real thing, he will not be eligible anymore.

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