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Thread: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

  1. #1

    Default The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Hi Folks!

    Welcome to our first annual Shadow Nobel Prize! It should be fun!

    If you are unsure what this is but it strikes you as somewhat interesting, please refer to this link. I’ll be updating that first post as the particular form and shape of the reading group changes and develops. But, here is a quick outline just to serve as a reminder.

    Like many other online shadow prizes, this prize is intended to read through the work of nominated authors and determine whether or not the prize committee made the correct selection. To participate you have to commit to reading at least one book by each of the short-listed writers (see below for the list) prior to the end of August so that we can begin online deliberations towards selecting our own winner.

    Based on Marba’s thread outlining the opening of the 1967 Nobel Prize archive, I think we can work with this as our short-list.

    1. Miguel Angel Asturias (winner)

    2. Jorge Luis Borges

    3. Yusanari Kawabata

    4. W.H. Auden

    5. Graham Greene


    Please, as you sign into this thread, outline which books you hope to read from each author. It would be good to get a bit of a wide spread of books from each of them so that we are getting a broad understanding of the quality of the author’s works.

    The list of confirmed participants is below:


    1. OvertheMountains
    Last edited by OverTheMountains; 03-Jan-2018 at 23:33.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Just checking in to the project, and excited to announce that I've already begun my first book for the challenge. Below are the ones I hope to read before the end of August. I'm looking forward to the discussion.

    1. Miguel Angel Asturias - Mulata
    2. Jorge Luis Borges - The History of Iniquity
    3. Yusanari Kawabata - The Master of Go
    4. W.H. Auden - The Age of Anxiety: A Baroque Eclogue
    5. Graham Greene - The Quiet American

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Oh, I seriously misread that linked topic of yours! I thought we were like going to read authors we thought were nobel bound so that we could see if 2018's winner was one of them. What a stupid boy I was!... I'll return with a comment on whether or not I will commit to this shadow nobel prize challenge...

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartleby View Post
    Oh, I seriously misread that linked topic of yours! I thought we were like going to read authors we thought were nobel bound so that we could see if 2018's winner was one of them. What a stupid boy I was!... I'll return with a comment on whether or not I will commit to this shadow nobel prize challenge...
    Haha, oh well. That's a big part of our Nobel speculation threads are anyway, at least for me, we usually just don't read them as a group (maybe we should try that this year?)

    As for the Shadow Nobel, I’m in, and here’s what I’m thinking for my picks:

    1. Miguel Angel Asturias - Men of Maize
    2. Jorge Luis Borges - Ficciones (Never actually read it, although I've read pretty much all of the stories elsewhere)
    3. Yusanari Kawabata - Sound of the Mountain
    4. W.H. Auden - I've only read a few of Auden's poems in anthologies, and since we're trying to get a broad view of an author's work, I'll just wait till everyone else is in to pick my Auden selection
    5. Graham Greene – The Heart of the Matter

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Ok, so here it is:

    1. Miguel Angel Asturias - Mulata de Tal
    2. Jorge Luis Borges - O Aleph
    3. Yasunari Kawabata - Snow Country
    4. W H Auden - for this one I'll read a bilingual collection with 50 of his most well known poems published here in Brazil - if that's not a problem.
    5. Graham Greene - the power and the glory
    Last edited by Bartleby; 04-Jan-2018 at 21:56.

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    As for me, this is the list, I've read before the Borges, Kawabata and Auden, plus Greene's The Heart of the Matter and Asturias' El Señor Presidente, so it's only two new books for me, Mulata and Power.

    1.
    Miguel Angel Asturias - Mulata de Tal
    2. Jorge Luis Borges - Collected Short Stories
    3. Yusanari Kawabata - Sound of the Mountain
    4. W.H. Auden - Selected Poems
    5. Graham Greene - The Power and the Glory
    To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations, such is a pleasure beyond compare.
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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Idk how much Kawabata y’all have read but The Sound of the Mountain is one of his worst novellas if not his worst.

    If you haven’t read a lot more by him already I’d completely skip it.

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Not sure why everyone (except Bartleby) is misspelling Kawabata's name, but it's YA-sunari, not YU-sanari, unless Wikipedia is lying,

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    Not sure why everyone (except Bartleby) is misspelling Kawabata's name, but it's YA-sunari, not YU-sanari, unless Wikipedia is lying,
    And isn't his surname Kawabunga, dude?

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Borges: The Book of Sand
    Greene: The Comedians (I spent two summers in Haiti and would like to learn more about Papa Doc's rule)
    Kawabata: The House of the Sleeping Beauties

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    From time to time, on some internet board or another, somebody pastes an image of a young woman with large pectorals sitting on the sand or in a car, and that person comments, say, on the sand color. Subsequent posters to the thread begin to disagree about the color and keep commenting about the sand, until some champion of the obvious goes "I don't know what you guys are talking about, but look at the size of those pectorals." Usually this happens around 12 comments down into the thread: sadly, we couldn't keep our little joke going for more than 3 or 4 comments before it was spoiled. Better luck next time!
    To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations, such is a pleasure beyond compare.
    Yoshida Kenko

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleanthess View Post
    From time to time, on some internet board or another, somebody pastes an image of a young woman with large pectorals sitting on the sand or in a car, and that person comments, say, on the sand color. Subsequent posters to the thread begin to disagree about the color and keep commenting about the sand, until some champion of the obvious goes "I don't know what you guys are talking about, but look at the size of those pectorals." Usually this happens around 12 comments down into the thread: sadly, we couldn't keep our little joke going for more than 3 or 4 comments before it was spoiled. Better luck next time!
    Sorry, but I was just being playful and a little silly with my post. It wasn't my intention to spoil anything.

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    Not sure why everyone (except Bartleby) is misspelling Kawabata's name, but it's YA-sunari, not YU-sanari, unless Wikipedia is lying,
    Cause I was too lazy to write out the names and just copy and pasted them from the original post

    And on the topic of Yusanari Kawabanga, I thought Sound of the Mountain was one of his most acclaimed works? What didn't you like about it, Isa? (Are you sure you have the right one? It's a novel not novella.) But I've had it on my shelf for a few years without reading it so I want to finally dust it off.

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    No worries, stevie B: you actually enhanced the experience. Thanks to you, now we have Kawabanga Yusanari, which is even better than the original joke.
    To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations, such is a pleasure beyond compare.
    Yoshida Kenko

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadshadz View Post
    Cause I was too lazy to write out the names and just copy and pasted them from the original post

    And on the topic of Yusanari Kawabanga, I thought Sound of the Mountain was one of his most acclaimed works? What didn't you like about it, Isa? (Are you sure you have the right one? It's a novel not novella.) But I've had it on my shelf for a few years without reading it so I want to finally dust it off.
    It’s his longest one, but still under 300 pages. I guess that makes it a “novel.” I read it in like two shorter sittings so to me it seemed shorter.

    I’ve never heard anyone call it one of his most acclaimed works. Daniel somewhere on here also called it his least favorite. It was certainly the worst of the 7 works I’ve read by him.

    The plot is basically just a father sitting around thinking about his children. Almost nothing happens. When there is action it just reads like a not-very-interesting soap opera. Compared to nearly all of his other works there’s nothing really “Japanese” about it as a whole.

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Judging by his works available in English, Kawabata has a fairly small body of work compared to most laureates - though I'm assuming all of his books have already been translated into English. Then again, newly-translated Tanizaki titles seem to pop up every now and then, so perhaps there's more out there. I've read two Kawabata books, but I don't have much recollection of the novels since it was quite some time ago. Of the two, I preferred The Lake, though Beauty and Sadness seemed to have some echoes of Tanizaki's obsessiveness.

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Since Borges is probably one of my top three favorite writers I couldn't be unbiased when comparing his works against some other authors. However, I would recommend you to include some of his poetry in your readings, as he was mainly a poet, and an amazing one.

    The Sound of the Mountain is one of the books I enjoyed less by Kawabata, but by no means it is a bad novel. If you have it on your shelf, just give it a try. Yes, "almost nothing happens", but most of Kawabata's novels are like that. Where nothing happens, everything happens in its subtleness. Coincidently I've also read 7 of his books.

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie B View Post
    Judging by his works available in English, Kawabata has a fairly small body of work compared to most laureates - though I'm assuming all of his books have already been translated into English. Then again, newly-translated Tanizaki titles seem to pop up every now and then, so perhaps there's more out there. I've read two Kawabata books, but I don't have much recollection of the novels since it was quite some time ago. Of the two, I preferred The Lake, though Beauty and Sadness seemed to have some echoes of Tanizaki's obsessiveness.
    By my estimates

    10 Novels/Novellas
    3 Short Story Collections
    Many more uncollected stories (uncollected in English)
    Diaries

    It’s not a ton but it’s more than like Ishiguro and about equal to Toni Morrison’s present output if we’re strictly discussing number of works and not length.

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    Default Re: The Shadow Nobel Prize 1967

    Quote Originally Posted by Isahoinp View Post
    It’s not a ton but it’s more than like Ishiguro and about equal to Toni Morrison’s present output if we’re strictly discussing number of works and not length.
    Imagine the literary output of a Joyce Carol Oates/Stephen King love child. He or she would pen enough novels to keep even you busy reading for a few months, Isa! By the way, 10 novels/novellas by Kawabata is higher than I thought it would be.

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