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Myshkin

Nobel Literature Prize Speculation: Abdulrazak Gurnah

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She is not a big name and her work is very politicized, there's bound to be talk of how the academy gave the prize to reward her political opinions, bias, last dictatorship in Europe et cetera.Also her politc are very anti-soviet, anti-communist, pro western, I don't know how much of it will reach english speaking world, but in post-soviet countries there is going to be a shitstorm.Finally her style is unusual, I wouldn't consider her works as fiction, there is a lot real interviews with non-fictional, ordinary people, and generally feels to me more like a philosophical studies than novels.I guess that many people wouldn't like it.





What is her books about?



She mainly deals with the soviet people in the post soviet world, lots of personal stories, personal tragedies, criticism of both soviet ideas and their revival, pity and trying to understand what a "red person" feels like.


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Hard to say what exactly the Academy's reasons, I suspect that he maybe to popular, to much of a "rock-star" to win, at least in the coming years.This year specifically is also after Mo Yan's win, it's not likely the prize will go to another Asian writer.As to his odds, he's been the odds frontrunner for years without wining, I think it's safe to disregard it since it has to do with people massively betting on him than any real inside information.




Meanwhile Ngugi's odds moved a bit to 12/1.


Edited by Schlimazl

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Yep, there's no way Murakami wins this years. My money's still on Ngugi at this point.


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Alexievich is now at 4/6, Munro at 8/1, Ngugi without a change, also interesting that while Nadas and Ko Un's odds fell Oates remains at the top and there is quite a rise for Mircea Cartarescu because his win was apparently predicted by some meercats

Alexievich fits the dissident profile(if they thought that Mo Yan is to loyal to the party and wanted to rectify) and comes from the country that never won before in language that haven't won for a long time and has some long literature tradition, also a friend of mine tells me that Peter Englund writes in the similar manner with historical documents replacing interviews with real people.

Munro has been called a Chekhov of our time, she comes from the country that never won before and generally North America didn't win for a while(and they can avoid giving it to USA writer), plus she recently announced end of her career, so she might get a triumphant send off.

Ngugi is an African writer and not of European or Arab origin, as I understand he writes in some local language in addition to English.Can't really say more as I'm not familiar with his works.

Djebar is a North African writer, her writing centers on post-colonial and feminist issues which fits the thematic profile of laureate in recent years, she's well established in French literary world and really (to me at least) feels part of it's tradition so giving her the prize might let them have their cake and eat it too(prize goes to North Africa, yet still essentially European).

I think a winner will come from these 4, if it's up to me I would've picked Djebar from those, and Kundera in general.

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She is not a big name and her work is very politicized, there's bound to be talk of how the academy gave the prize to reward her political opinions, bias, last dictatorship in Europe et cetera.Also her politc are very anti-soviet, anti-communist, pro western, I don't know how much of it will reach english speaking world, but in post-soviet countries there is going to be a shitstorm.

"War's unwomanly face" has been criticised for glorifying the Soviet union and could probably only be considered anti-Soviet propaganda by someone 110% over sensitive. While reading it, I too thought that there was definitely more about pride in Russia/Soviet than condemnation, although it was pointed out in the beginning that some of the less glorifying bits had been censored initially and only reinstated much later.

However, I was surprised that she got nominated since I thought her works were easy to read and not at all inaccessible. :p

Also, congratulations to Munro!

Edited by Lyanna Stark

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I am very happy Alice Munro won! :) I would think this will be one of the Nobel Literature prize's least controversial choices.


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"War's unwomanly face" is of course not anti-soviet (received prize of Lenin's Comsomol after all), but everything she's written since(the red person penthology) and which constitutes a main body of her work(not to mention various interviews where she compared communism to anthrax) is more than enough to get the "sovereign democracy", "defender against soulless West and it's agents", "fighter against Russophobia", "champion of Russian traditional values and the unique way of Russian people" crowd to come with pitchforks and torches and the USSR 2.0-Stalinobus-"anti-communism = russophobia" crowd won't be far behind.



ETA:Alice Munro also becomes the first ever Nobel and Booker International joint winner, interesting to see how much of those we will be having in coming years.


Edited by Schlimazl

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I'm pleased Munro won - an excellent choice by the Academy and one that shouldn't have any controversy, really. I look forward to her stories in the New Yorker whenever they're there. Just an outstanding writer in every way/shape/form and an absolute master of the art of the short story.

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Alice Munro's win was very nice news to wake up to. Her daughter called her at 4am to let her know, apparently, followed right afterwards by the CBC. She was pretty chirpy about it, although awoken in the middle of the night. :)


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Alice Munro. Biggest news to come from Clinton since Steven Truscott. Congratulations!! And yes, I am aware she was born in Swingin' Wingham, Ontario.


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The number of Nobel winners who are primarily short fiction writers is slim. Ivan Bunin (1933), for one; the most recent I can think of would be Isaac Bashevis Singer (1978), but he also wrote novels.


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"War's unwomanly face" is of course not anti-soviet (received prize of Lenin's Comsomol after all), but everything she's written since(the red person penthology) and which constitutes a main body of her work(not to mention various interviews where she compared communism to anthrax) is more than enough to get the "sovereign democracy", "defender against soulless West and it's agents", "fighter against Russophobia", "champion of Russian traditional values and the unique way of Russian people" crowd to come with pitchforks and torches and the USSR 2.0-Stalinobus-"anti-communism = russophobia" crowd won't be far behind.

Far be it from me to argue with the USSR 2.0-Stalinobus-"anti-communism" = "russophobia" crowd. :lol:

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Great choice in Munro, she completely deserves it, and awarding it to her highlights the short story as a still relevant literary form.



Unfortunately it seems that no matter how deserving they might be any woman being awarded the Nobel in literature will be met with at least some cries of outrage. A few weeks ago I joined a forum focused on world literature, and I was amazed today at the level of sexism I saw there after Munro was announced. Let me just say how much I appreciate you posters on this subforum.



ETA: I'd like to point out that even though I've been predicting Ngugi for the last few weeks, I did in fact predict that Munro would win it in my first post of the year :).


Edited by Myshkin

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A few weeks ago I joined a forum focused on world literature, and I was amazed today at the level of sexism I saw there after Munro was announced. Let me just say how much I appreciate you posters on this subforum.

Was it a forum full of David Gilmour and alts? It was probably insufficient white straight male for him.

I too am glad that the Nobel committee endorsed the short story form with this award. They are much harder to write than people give them credit for.

eta: Douglas Gibson, Munro's longtime editor, at one point told her to keep on with short stories although everybody else was telling her to write novels. He is very, very happy for her today. :)

Edited by Angalin

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