Jump to content

Nobel Literature Prize Speculation: Annie Ernaux


Myshkin
 Share

Recommended Posts

Some thoughts: 

This choice proves the Swedish Academy isn't completely allergic to massively popular writers. 

Two English language winners in a row means that next year's winner probably won't be writing in English.

Ishiguro's win means that Rushdie won't be winning anytime soon.

Probably hurts Murakami's chances of winning too. Murakami and Ishiguro are tied closely together in the public mind, based solely as far as I can tell on the facts that they are both hugely popular and both are of Japanese descent. Doesn't really seem to matter that they write in different languages and different traditions. 

The Swedish Academy pulled off choosing a very deserving and well known writer, while still managing to surprise pretty much everyone.

Ishiguro comes closer to writing genre than any previous winner. Never Let Me Go is straight dystopian SF. It's also one of the most beautiful novels I've ever read. If you're looking for a place to start with Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go is a good choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should get back to reading The Buried Giant. It was interesting, but oh my goodness it meanders a lot.


Never Let Me Go is astonishing. The Remains of the Day, on the other hand, I didn't get on with at all.


By the way Myshkin as a fan what book of Rushdie's is best to start? I tried Midnight's Children and pretty much hated it. The humour displayed there drove me up the wall, so anything with a different ambience in that regard would be nice.

Edited by polishgenius
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

By the way Myshkin as a fan what book of Rushdie's is best to start? I tried Midnight's Children and pretty much hated it. The humour displayed there drove me up the wall, so anything with a different ambience in that regard would be nice.

Well if you didn't like Midnight's Children, Rushdie just might not be for you. If you're determined to give him another go though, I'd say try The Enchantress of Florence. It's not so thematically heavy as Rushdie's other works, but instead really focuses of the beauty of the language. And language is where Rushdie really shines. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Myshkin said:

Some thoughts: 

This choice proves the Swedish Academy isn't completely allergic to massively popular writers. 

Two English language winners in a row means that next year's winner probably won't be writing in English.

Ishiguro's win means that Rushdie won't be winning anytime soon.

Probably hurts Murakami's chances of winning too. Murakami and Ishiguro are tied closely together in the public mind, based solely as far as I can tell on the facts that they are both hugely popular and both are of Japanese descent. Doesn't really seem to matter that they write in different languages and different traditions. 

The Swedish Academy pulled off choosing a very deserving and well known writer, while still managing to surprise pretty much everyone.

Ishiguro comes closer to writing genre than any previous winner. Never Let Me Go is straight dystopian SF. It's also one of the most beautiful novels I've ever read. If you're looking for a place to start with Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go is a good choice.

Actually I am relieved that Margaret Atwood did not win. Two Canadians in close proximity would have made us unbearably smug as a country.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

For those who haven’t been following it, the Swedish Academy is muddling its way through a world of shit right now, having to do with at least 18 allegations of sexual assault against the husband of one of the members. It’s a very twisty and convoluted story, so I’ll leave it to you to look it up yourselves if you want details. Anyway it’s resulted in Sara Danius resigning her position as Permanent Secretary, as well as several other members resigning or threatening to resign their positions on the Academy. And today it was announced that the Academy will not be awarding a Lit Prize for 2018, with plans to award two Prizes in 2019.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based on recent form, though, those prizes will go to Donald Trump, for his use of Twitter, and the writers of The Avengers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I hope Roth's last action was a middle finger directed towards Sweden. He absolutely deserved the Nobel Prize, which was cruelly denied him due to circumstances he had no part in (international politics, committee politics, and the publishing strategies of American publishing houses - all of which the Nobel committee appeared to blame him for). He'll be a towering figure in the "didn't get the Nobel" pantheon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Myshkin said:

The Academy has run out of time in regards to Philip Roth. RIP.

I used to read Philip Roth when I was a young lad back in the 70's. Back then I don't think he worried too much about winning a Nobel because he was probably the most widely read American writer. With regards to sexual content, he was so out there writing about masturbation that I suspect a lot of teenagers learned how to do it better from reading Portnoy's Complaint. 

The book I remember best is Our Gang, his complete evisceration of the Nixon administration. If Watergate did not sink Nixon, this novel would.

Who needs a Nobel? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Update on the super fucked up Swedish Academy:

Since the Nobel Foundation has refused to release the Prize money until the Academy had cleaned itself up, and since the Academy no longer seems to have enough members to actually award the Prize, a compromise has been made. The belated 2018 Prize, the 2019 Prize, and the 2020 Prize will be awarded by a jury comprised of 5 Academy members and 5 non-members. I can’t find the names of the Academy members who will be on this jury, but hopefully Horace Engdahl isn’t one of them. As for whether or not the Swedish Academy will continue to exist much longer, that’s still up in the air. Though the Nobel Foundation has hinted that should the Academy cease to exist, or fail to get their shit together, awarding of the Nobel Literature Prize could be handed to another institution. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have read the news about the Swedish Academy. I was a bit shocked.

I remember when I was a wee little undergrad and had some lit and art classes, my professors always told us not to be too impressed by awards. Apparently, the general public enjoys that sort of thing but among writers, artists, and academicians, it's pretty well-known that:

  • just a very small group of people give out the awards (like a committee of 5 people per award)
  • it's very political
  • art/lit criticism has trends just like pop culture does
  • most damning of all - almost all of them just give awards to each other (speaking of the small, more local award-giving bodies)

The last one was really an eye-opener. One prof told us to check a list of the award winners and the committee members (of a local award) there was considerable overlap, especially if you knew which artists/writers were in mentor/protege relationships. :o

I'm not saying every award-giving committee is corrupt but rather, I suspect that they tend to be just people patting each other and their friends on the back to say "good job."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

So it’s actually rather difficult to get news on what’s going on with the Academy (unless you read Swedish), but what we know is that they will be handing out two Prizes this year, and I think the plan is still to have those Prizes awarded by a mix of Academy members and non-members. But that may have changed. Also I believe that Horace Engdahl has either resigned from the Academy, or at least from the Nobel committee, which if true is a very good thing. 

Anyway, some speculation. With two Prizes being awarded this year it’ll be the perfect opportunity to honor one of the famous snubs. Rushdie perhaps, or maybe a non insulting American pick like Pynchon or DeLillo. And if non Academy members are indeed voting then I think the chances of this happening are even better. This year will be a bit different from other years in which two people were awarded, because those other years were split Prizes in which generally two people writing in the same tradition were awarded. This year they’ll be handing out two separate Prizes, for 2018 and 2019, so I think we’ll see two very different writers awarded. Maybe a poet and a novelist, almost certainly writers writing in two different languages, and very probably writers of different genders. I also think the Academy can’t afford to court (bad) controversy by picking another obscure or out of left field winner this year, so I expect at least one, if not both, of the winners this year to be relatively well known. Personally I’m still holding out hope for Rushdie and/or Kundera, and would be ecstatic we we got something like Kundera and Louise Erdrich or Rushdie and Duong Thu Huong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Myshkin said:

So it’s actually rather difficult to get news on what’s going on with the Academy (unless you read Swedish), but what we know is that they will be handing out two Prizes this year, and I think the plan is still to have those Prizes awarded by a mix of Academy members and non-members. But that may have changed. Also I believe that Horace Engdahl has either resigned from the Academy, or at least from the Nobel committee, which if true is a very good thing. 

 

How would the non-members who vote be chosen, and how many of them  would there be relative to the number of Academy members?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Ormond said:

How would the non-members who vote be chosen, and how many of them  would there be relative to the number of Academy members?

No idea how they’d be chosen. As for the ratio, my understanding is that the original plan was for 5 members and 5 non-members. But again, it’s been very difficult for me to find info on all of this so things might have changed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...