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Thread: Nobel Prize for Literature

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Nobel Prize for Literature

    It's just about time for the announcement--either this Thursday or next--and I say it's time to start putting our bets in on who will win. I have several faves but remember: three of the last five winners wrote in English, which leads me to believe the Academy will go for a non-English speaking writer. That said, I will put forth my nominees for this year:

    Philip Roth--simply the greatest living writer of today.

    Doris Lessing--the Academy loves feminists as well as writers with 'interesting backgroungs' so Ms. Lessing could be the one. Plus, she's older than the hills and could kick the bucket any time, so it could be a case of now or never.

    Margaret Atwood--another great sort-of feminist writer with a great output. Has the added bonus of being Canadian and a bit ornery.

    Anyone else want to put forth a guess or two?
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    They will make it an anti-war gesture, as they did last year
    with Harold Pinter. Has anyone written a big anti-war book recently?

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    Well, Philip Roth wrote Plot Against America, which was sort of an indictment on Bush and his policies.

    And Soj, I can't believe Doris Lessing isn't even on that list and Paul Auster is! He's an ok writer but not in the same league. Good to see Roth up near the top. We'll know tomorrow whether the announcement comes this Thursday or next.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    i want murakami to win. he's not an english language writer and he is definitely among the best writers out there IMO. he is a true original too.
    and if not him, le clezio. he is a genius
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    I'm not familiar with either one of them...more info? I'm always looking for great new reads. But sputnik, you must jump on the Roth bandwagon or I will be, let's say, disappointed.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    ^^^^
    i've only read 'i married a communist' and i loved it. i've been meaning to read more of roth and then i always get distracted by something else...

    as for murakami, they're all good but i would start with 'the wind-up bird chronicle' or 'a wild sheep chase' if you want to jump right into his crazier stuff, and 'norwegian wood' and 'sputnik sweetheart' if you want to start slow.
    but really they're all wonderful and i've read them all except the short stories and underground.
    if you want non-fiction, the one about the sarin attacks in the tokyo subway is excellent. in a way it reminds me of gabriel garcia marquez' 'news of a kidnapping'. both are cases of very famous novelists reflecting on a major event in their countries. except the styles are completely different.
    he's one of those writers with their own mythology and there are elements that reoccur in his books. i really don't know how to describe him, there are elements of fantastic realism and science-fiction but at the same time his books are also 'normal' novels. and he has a great sense of humour.

    and le clezio i haven't read as many but i would definitely recommend 'onitsha'. he's travelled a lot and he's written about everything from thailand to africa to a biography of diego rivera and frida kahlo.
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    Thanks for all the info. And read more Roth. I married a communist is great and if you liked that, I recommend, for starters: 'My life as a man', 'Portnoy's Complaint', 'American Pastoral'.

    Now, let's all hope and pray that this year he finally wins.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    Thanks for all the info. And read more Roth. I married a communist is great and if you liked that, I recommend, for starters: 'My life as a man', 'Portnoy's Complaint', 'American Pastoral'.

    Now, let's all hope and pray that this year he finally wins.

    **update: Prize to be announced Thursday, October 12th at 13:00 local time, which is six hours later than the east coast of America.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    thanks. i'm really curious who they'll choose this year... especially since the past 2 have been so controversial
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    My book club is meeting tomorrow night (Tues). I will put the shortlist to them and see if there's a concensus. Roth would certainly be a controversial choice (Lessing would be the obvious 'safe' option for the deeply conservative Nobel) but you never know.
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    Ali Ahmad Saïd ESBER, aka Adonis.
    I never read any of his poetry but I came across one article he wrote in August on an Italian newspaper about the women in Islam, and that man deserves to win a prize before some extremists get him...
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    My book club is meeting tomorrow night (Tues). I will put the shortlist to them and see if there's a concensus. Roth would certainly be a controversial choice (Lessing would be the obvious 'safe' option for the deeply conservative Nobel) but you never know.
    I dont' find the Academy to be terribly conservative. I think they go out of their way to be controversial and piss people off. I point to the nutty Austrian woman who won two years ago. Undeserving and a complete loon. The thing is, they do try to spread it out around the world and think it's thier mandate to bring attention to writers who hail from thrid world or oppressed countries and also think it's their mandate to help said writers reach a wider audience. On the surface it sounds noble (ha...no pun, etc) but in reality it's bullocks, since Alfred Nobel gave no such mandate.
    Roth should win, no question. If he isn't already considered such, time will show him to be one of the most important writers of our time. But then, that doesn't guarantee a Nobel, since many of the greatest have been snubbed over the years.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    elfriede jelinek may be crazy but i wouldn't call her undeserving. her books are grueling to read - you come out feeling like you've been put through the wringer. but she is an excellent writer. it's true that she is not very well known outside of europe but i think it was a pretty brave choice. she's definitely not one of those writers that everyone can agree on. i'm glad they don't play it safe. we've got enough prizes and rewards that always go to the obvious, safe, crowd pleasing choices.
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    FAir enough on teh Academy not playing it safe but I can't agree on the Austrian nutjob. I tried to read her but just laughed.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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