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Thread: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

  1. #181

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Does it really matter? Everyone gave him advice on how to better get along with the members here, and he's ignored everything. I've never seen Stevie B that upset.

    But fine. Yes. I will not continue, Liam.

  2. #182

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Vargas Llosa name was HUGE in the Spanish language countries I might say worldwide too. It's ridiculous to call him an author under-the-radar!
    I didn't say Vargas Llosa was under-the-radar. I used that to characterize Munro. I qualified Vargas Llosa as an author whom those who have actually studied literature in university or are drawn to reading a lot of literature in the first place would know about. Yes, he is huge in Spanish-speaking countries, but I wouldn't call him a world-renowned author that a general reader could identify (similar to Ishiguro). I doubt the general reader in Russia, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, probably even North America would have even recognized Vargas Llosa had he not won the Nobel Prize. For instance, I live in a country in Asia with English as a second official language (newspapers, media, and school curriculums are in English), but even those considered sufficiently well-read here would be hard-pressed to point out who Vargas Llosa is unless they took up a postcolonial literature elective. As much as I dislike the reality, all the living world-renowned authors tend to be writing in English.

    In fact, the level of Ishiguro's reach easily surpasses the Nobel Prize sticker on a book: https://books.google.com.ph/books?id...page&q&f=false

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartleby View Post
    I think it's important to keep in mind as well something someone mentioned before, that apparently the SA has loved Ishiguro for quite some time now and maybe that's just what they're doing, awarding a writer THEY found was deserving, not necessarily one that would please this or that kind of group (or in this case, almost everyone). I may be wrong, but some times this popular narrative of "the Academy is saying this or that with such a writer winning" kind of annoys me.
    I agree. While it's fun to speculate about the motivations of the Academy, that's all the exercise will ever be: speculation. It would be quite unfortunate if any discussion of literature simply dissolved into mere playground bickering and conspiracy theories. I hope this moves into an actual discussion of the work of Ishiguro and expands beyond that. I'd love to read about transcultural, transnational, and diasporic literature, the complex circumstances which produced Ishiguro's books (coming from a culture that has no shared colonial-imperialist history or language with the culture he is writing in), or even the manner in which the almost extreme precision of his language has parallels with the way second-language learners utilize a learned language and, by extension, second-culture citizens view an acquired culture. For these reasons, I find Ishiguro a fascinating literary figure.
    Last edited by Uemarasan; 06-Oct-2017 at 22:09.

  3. #183
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V View Post
    Yes, yes he does. We all had to experience it this past year lol.

    He should learn "à goupil endormi rien ne tombe en la gueule." He's "à mauvais ouvrier point de bon outil."
    I remember hearing that first proverb from my mother when I was growing up, a saying she certainly learned from the nuns at the French parochial school she attended as a child.

  4. #184
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Septularisen View Post
    Do you really think one second that you can imagine what the members of SA have in their mind?
    They scoffed at and shot down Tolkien, who essentially created modern fantasy. So yes, I believe it was a fair assumption to make.

  5. #185
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Uemarasan View Post
    I didn't say Vargas Llosa was under-the-radar. I used that to characterize Munro. I qualified Vargas Llosa as an author whom those who have actually studied literature in university or are drawn to reading a lot of literature in the first place would know about. Yes, he is huge in Spanish-speaking countries, but I wouldn't call him a world-renowned author that a general reader could identify (similar to Ishiguro). I doubt the general reader in Russia, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, probably even North America would have even recognized Vargas Llosa had he not won the Nobel Prize.
    I don't think you're right. Latin American literature was immensly popular behind the Iron Curtain. Llosa, Cortazar, Marquez and Borges were household names. A lot of second or third-rate authors were translated. In Poland Llosa's award was considered as well deserved, even obvious choice.

  6. #186

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluszczokrzew View Post
    I don't think you're right. Latin American literature was immensly popular behind the Iron Curtain. Llosa, Cortazar, Marquez and Borges were household names. A lot of second or third-rate authors were translated. In Poland Llosa's award was considered as well deserved, even obvious choice.
    That's fascinating, and it's my mistake then. I wonder what the particular reasons were that Latin American literature was so popular in that region of the world among the general population.

    I did find this interview:

    "Both Russian and Latin American literature have a strong oral and storytelling tradition, and both literatures use the fantastic to encode political messages or hint at the unknown. I love the way that both literatures use detail to create a fantastical, dream-like, and yet totally believable landscape. And in spite of the suffering their people had gone through, both Latin American and Russian writers usually have a great (often dark) sense of humor."

    http://www.themiddlegray.com/mgblog/...talya-sukhonos

  7. #187

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Uemarasan View Post
    That's fascinating, and it's my mistakwill mathen. I wonder what the particular reasons were that Latin American literature was so popular in that region of the world among the general population.

    I did find this interview:

    "Both Russian and Latin American literature have a strong oral and storytelling tradition, and both literatures use the fantastic to encode political messages or hint at the unknown. I love the way that both literatures use detail to create a fantastical, dream-like, and yet totally believable landscape. And in spite of the suffering their people had gone through, both Latin American and Russian writers usually have a great (often dark) sense of humor."

    http://www.themiddlegray.com/mgblog/...talya-sukhonos
    If we will see at situation in USSR one formal reason was very important: most part of writers from Latin America were left intellectuals or at least stay in opposition towards right dictatorship.. That is why their books were more suitable for the censorship. Neruda, Asturias, etc.

    concerning Ishiguro: we can make speculation on member SA who will make presentation speech during ceremony. I guess it must be Per Wastberg in this year.

  8. #188
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Uemarasan View Post
    That's fascinating, and it's my mistake then. I wonder what the particular reasons were that Latin American literature was so popular in that region of the world among the general population.
    With certainty, I can only speak about Poland. I guess that it was similar in Czechoslovakia and USSR, but probably the popularity came later.


    The boom came in the 60ties, culminated in the 70ties and never faded entirely. All the publishing houses in Poland were state-owned and strictly controlled, so (for sure) there was a political decision to translate numerous authors from Latin America. Maybe it was a part of larger politics - countries from the soviet bloc were strengthening relations with South America to counterbalance the influence of the USA. Anyway, it was a huge success. Magical realism was entirely different from whatever you could find in Poland at that time. But on the other hands, Latin American societies were in many aspects similar to ours. Semi-peripheral countries, in the shadow of the superpower, struggling with poverty, authoritarian rule, catholic tradition. For some, these books were windows to the exotic world behind the iron curtain. There was even a dedicated publishing series: Proza iberoamerykańska, where more than a hundred titles were published (see here: http://lubimyczytac.pl/seria/62/proz...c=data-wydania). Even today, writers from Latin America are very popular and their books often become bestsellers.


    Some notable Polish writers, esp. Olga Tokarczuk and Paweł Huelle, are strongly influenced by Latin American literature, and their prose is sometimes called "Polish magical realism".

  9. #189
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Uemarasan View Post
    I didn't say Vargas Llosa was under-the-radar. I used that to characterize Munro. I qualified Vargas Llosa as an author whom those who have actually studied literature in university or are drawn to reading a lot of literature in the first place would know about. Yes, he is huge in Spanish-speaking countries, but I wouldn't call him a world-renowned author that a general reader could identify (similar to Ishiguro). I doubt the general reader in Russia, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, probably even North America would have even recognized Vargas Llosa had he not won the Nobel Prize. For instance, I live in a country in Asia with English as a second official language (newspapers, media, and school curriculums are in English), but even those considered sufficiently well-read here would be hard-pressed to point out who Vargas Llosa is unless they took up a postcolonial literature elective. As much as I dislike the reality, all the living world-renowned authors tend to be writing in English.

    In fact, the level of Ishiguro's reach easily surpasses the Nobel Prize sticker on a book: https://books.google.com.ph/books?id...page&q&f=false .
    You cannot compare the notoriety of Ishiguro and say he is bigger than Vargas Llosa at the moment of the Nobel. MVLL was a really perennial candidate for the Nobel Prize. His name was among the candidates even before the prize went to García Márquez. At that moment, magical realism was huge already and if he had to wait for so long it was obviously because of the award to another member of the BOOM. Luckily for him, GGM was a very young laureate and it still gave time, almost thirty years later to award Vargas Llosa as well. You do not need to take a postcolonial literature elective to know who Mario Vargas Llosa was before he obtained the Nobel Prize.

  10. #190

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    You cannot compare the notoriety of Ishiguro and say he is bigger than Vargas Llosa at the moment of the Nobel. MVLL was a really perennial candidate for the Nobel Prize. His name was among the candidates even before the prize went to García Márquez. At that moment, magical realism was huge already and if he had to wait for so long it was obviously because of the award to another member of the BOOM. Luckily for him, GGM was a very young laureate and it still gave time, almost thirty years later to award Vargas Llosa as well. You do not need to take a postcolonial literature elective to know who Mario Vargas Llosa was before he obtained the Nobel Prize.
    Unfortunately, we will have to disagree at this point. I've qualified my statements enough by saying that people who have read a lot of literature would know who Vargas Llosa is. These are the same people who follow the Nobel Prize and have an idea of who the perennial candidates are. The general reader wouldn't know any of these things (including previous winners) unless they see a sticker on a book. Only Garcia Marquez from that group comes close to the level of fame of Ishiguro.

    Again, my words have been taken out of context. The reference to a postcolonial literature elective is with regard to my area of the world. It is not meant to be an all-encompassing statement.
    Last edited by Uemarasan; 07-Oct-2017 at 01:12.

  11. #191

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    leopold, why not Danius? I don't think she's given one yet. Engdahl did Grass, Naipaul, Jelinek, Pamuk, and Le Clézio, and Englund did Munro.

  12. #192
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    The point which Daniel may be trying to make is that in the 60 and 70, when the boom happened, knowing Marquez would mean knowing Llosa and Cortázar. The nobel obviously made Marquez popularity bigger, but Llosa was always the more accessible of the trio and his political positions also made him a bit notorious during the 90's. Cortázar is more close to what you describe, his popularity fading without a Nobel to sustain his memory and and early death (not to mention the left wing politics crisis during the same 90's). Llosa even tried to run for president of Peru, he is obvious popular enough.

  13. #193

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    For me, perhaps the biggest consequence of Ishiguro's win is that it puts the academy's decision as to what kind of prize they want off for another year. He's not another Dylan, but nor is he a typical laureate. He's a holding winner, giving everyone another year's breathing space before we decide whether they've messed the prize up for good

  14. #194
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    I have followed this thread and its predecessor with interest but I must confess that the interest has been slowly decreasing. And so I have been thinking about why that might be. I've read many of the authors discussed here and have also been very happy to discover new ones or ones I knew little about to add to my "wanted" lists. But as I ponder, I keep wondering why there is such clear and absolute fascination with an award made by a very small circle of people? Why the insistent gazing at tea leaves, not to say navel-gazing?

    At the end of the day, it's just another award. Or perhaps even the "pre-eminent" award for "serious literature" (whatever that may be). But given the award's notoriously uneven history, why do we care so much? (I include myself because I always pay attention, though I can't work myself up to the level of fascination displayed by most in this thread). Is it because it has such a significant effect on the publishing markets, on our own reading, or is it simply for the fun of it?

    I will confess when LeClezio won a number of years ago now, I had only vaguely heard of him. So I duly investigated and discovered an author whose aesthetic, whose writing, whose tone and attitude I found remarkably attractive. A lovely discovery. But in the end, I keep returning to the idea that this is still just another award made by the very small number of people with their own predilections, tastes, and agendas.... I guess I feel a little "odd man out" and so I ask you all, what am I missing? Why is all the speculation so fascinating?

  15. #195
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Maybe, as I re-read (and re-re-read) my post, that last sentence is the answer. Maybe it's fascinating simply because it's speculation, which can be an end in itself. Perhaps that's my own personal "issue"--I guess I have an interest in speculation but the longer the speculation continues, the less I find it interesting. To be absolutely clear: I can't really say how glad I am to have (re-)discovered the forum and how much I have learned from it and enjoyed it in the few short months I've been here. It's just this one thread that has me puzzled. [[EMOTICON EXPRESSING HAPPY CONFUSION or CONFUSED CONTENTMENT]]

  16. #196
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    For me, you hit the nail on the head with the speculation. I follow a lot of movie and book prize speculations--Oscars, Pulitzers, NBA, Man Booker, Cannes--because I enjoy it. The weird thing is I don't enjoy the actual award winners all too much (don't ask me why I find the speculation so interesting if the awards aren't that important, I've asked myself that and come up with a blank). So, as far as big awards with a ton of predictions surrounding it, the Nobel in Lit actually aligns with my taste the most often. Plus, when so many other people are posting about it too, it's easy to get caught in the hype.

    Also, it's a good way to learn about international literature. The speculation and prize itself has introduced me to some of my favorite writers: Jon Fosse, Claude Simon, Kenzaburo Oe, Claudio Magris, and Mo Yan.

    This year, the thread either convinced me to return to, or to pick up, these authors: Yi Mun-yol, Lee Seung-u, Cees Nooteboom, Maryse Conde, Ismail Kadare, Adonis, Ngugi, Ibrahim al-Koni, Matgaret Atwood, Amos Oz, Sjon, Jon Kalman Stefansson, and Li Rui. Some, obviously I'd had heard and read before, but the discussions convinced me to check them out again; for others I'd have missed them completely if someone hadn't mentioned them.

    As for why I spent time digging around the nobel library, well, I've answered that elsewhere.

    TL;DR: I follow award speculation in general, and the Nobel aligns with my taste more so than other prizes, and it's a good way to discover lesser known international writers.

  17. #197
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Finished The Remains of the Day on the bus yesterday. Just as good as I remember it, perhaps better, as I think I missed some of the nuances/things Stevens deliberately hides from himself last time. I wouldn't place it in my favorites, but it's still a masterful book, one I'd gladly recommend. Won't enter into that argument about popularity, but on quality grounds, I think he's one of the better winners recently. Just started Never Let Me Go, which is good so far, and at some point before the end of the year I want to reread The Buried Giant. It was pretty average before, but as someone who loves fantasy, I really want(ed) to like it.

  18. #198
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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Do we have any swedish folks here? I would be super grateful if some one can write, exactly, word by word, Sara Danius' script as she announces the prize. välkommen till svenska akademin...... and so on. I am very intrigued. Want to know exactly what she says before she announces the name. If someone knows swedish if you PLEASE watch the anmouncement on youtube again and write down (in swedish, not English) exactly what she says I'll be very excited! Thank you

  19. #199

    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    For me, speculation is fun for the lists of new authors, perhaps the hope that a favorite of yours wins the prize and gets recognition, or that you discover a new author. It also feels a bit like the Holidays and opening a gift you have no idea what's inside of. I suppose the question could easily be answered using the tools of psychology devoted to explaining gambling.

    "Hjärtligt välkomna till Svenska Akademien. Svenska Akademien har just haft sammankomst och fattat beslut om vem ska tilldelas årets nobelpris i litteratur."
    Last edited by Ater, Lividus, Ruber, & V; 08-Oct-2017 at 05:47.

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    Default Re: Nobel Prize in Literature 2017

    Congratz

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