Well today is the day , we see who has won the nobel prize for literature. As ever I have been following the betting for the last week or so . Unlike other years the betting has been fairly stable and the names on the list the same as other years. The lead name this year is Ngugi Wa Thiong’o the Kenyan writer , he writes a lot about the colonial and post colonial times in his native land. I have reviewed him . Then next on the list is Haruki Murakami , I still think it isn’t his time yet , I know others think it is but for me he needs to write that one defining book. Then we have Adonis the Syrian poet has been on the list for many years , I have once feature a poem by him about childhood. THen we Have Don Delillo has risen in recent days in the betting now for me he is maybe the best American to win ,he has written the book so to speak Underworld is a true epic , I have reviewed him once on the blog . The we have Jon Fosse I read him earlier this year and for me he maybe along side Thiong’o is the best place to be the nobel winner .his writing capture the feeling of modern Scandinavia . Well there we go , of course there is a number of outsiders as ever , now for me there is Javier Marias, Laszlo Krasznahorkai and Peter handke all writer that would be worthy winners but maybe not yet , but wouldn’t be shocked if they did win today.Then there would be the shock winner not translated into english yet , lets say Ulrich holbein for example. So 11.45 today we find out have you thoughts ?
13 Oct 2016 8 Comments
08 Oct 2015 2 Comments
The winner has been announced earlier today,it was the Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich.Not a huge surprise she was second favourite last year in the betting and first for all of this years betting .Its great see a non fiction writer winner the prize,her reportage style is one I enjoyed last month ans will again when I get a copy of Zinky boys or the new book which is coming out on Fitzcarraldo editions next year . I described my view of her as” Bringing clarity to a cacophony of voices ” which sums up my feeling of Voices of chernoybyl which I reviewed here .So on too next year and wait and see who wins .
07 Oct 2015 3 Comments
Today is international poetry day,I have rarely featured poetry in translation,I personally read very little poetry maybe one or two collections a year if that so if tomorrow sees a Poet winning the Nobel I will be interested to read more as to get the prize for the best body of work must mean something anyway with today being international poetry day I will feature two short piece by two of the poets riding high in the Nobel Literature betting this year. Which poets from around the world have you read ?
The poet called the poet of his people .I liked this short poem Ear of the few I read by him.There is an article about him from the guardian a few years ago .
The second poet often mention for a Nobel is the Syrian poet Adonis or Adunis . I have read many of these piece from the wonderful Arablit about Adonis , you can also find a lot on the Arabist site as well .I choose a part of a poem about childhood think of those children in Syria or on the way here at the moment.
Adonis or Adunis (Ali Ahmad Said Esber)
I have mention him a couole of times in previous Nobel literature build up posts .
13 Aug 2015 11 Comments
I was thinking of a discussion about the winners of Nobel .After seeing a tweet from Peirene press about how many female winners of the Nobel Literature prize their have been .There have been thirteen in all –
“master of the contemporary short story”
“who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed”
“that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”
“for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power”
“for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality”
“who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality”
“who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity”
“for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel’s destiny with touching strength”
“for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world”
“for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”
“principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages”
“for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general”
“in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings”
Thanks to Nobel for the list of winners , it seems they are addressing the lack of Female winners in a way with 4 female winners in the last decade . I have mentioned the possible winners in my last few Nobel prediction posts but there isn’t many women on this list .Svetlana Alexievich , Joyce Carol Oates , Lydia Davies , Dacia Maraini are among the names mentioned to win in recent years I would add Dasa Drndic and Marie D’Naiye myself from female writers in translation I have read .So I feel as Peirene pointed out there is a need for more female winners and maybe more diversity in General a few more African winners .I feel the fact the Nobel have lists of female winners and have said they are getting advice on world lit these day means we may have something to look forward too .
Where to start with Svetlana Alexievich any one ?#
Any suggestions for a female winner of the Nobel Lit Prize ?
24 Oct 2014 23 Comments
Well Monday see’s the first post nobel book by Patrick Modiano come out its only on kindle for now by Yale press world republic of letters imprints are bringing out Suspended sentences a collection of three novellas by him , they are described as an ode to a bygone Paris and the dark days of Nazi rules and the writers own experience , this sounds rather like the search warrant , which those of you that read my review know I instantly fell in love with .So we now need to know how this writer hasn’t ever really taken of in the English speaking world ? So why has this not happened , well has he not won a big prize ? no he won the Prix Goncourt ok a long time ago but it is the biggest prize in French literature , he has also won a number of big european prizes before the Nobel win so no that isn’t a reason .Not enough books ? no he has written 26 novels so there is a body of work by him .His books are they too long ? no they tend to be below 200 pages which means they are actually cheap to translate .The style of the books tend to be Literary detective book missed with memories a sort of Sebald Eco mix so that isn’t really a reason for people not to buy them as both those writers are among the most popular selling writers in translation .Setting now this is maybe a problem a lot of his books look at the French war years , now I think in the 21st century maybe we are ready to rewrite the view of this period , yes it was bad , but people still had to live and this is at heart what a lot of his books seem to be about the everyday going ons of wartime France .He is called the New Proust I have seen , now for me this is another kiss of death line , it reminds me of the bands in the late 80’s and early 90’s that were given the tagline “The new smiths ” , i for one tend to be wary when a writer is directly compared to one of the greats of his own countries literature !! I did say on Grants post for his review of Honeymoon , which he had already order before the win after reading my review of search warrant , that maybe he was a little too subtle for English readers , in the fact that its good writing but not exciting , rather like Pamuk and LLosa both nobel winners that maybe just write great books but not Standout books .But that said they both have been published most of their careers ,but maybe this is another reason , they have both been published mainly by one publisher were as Modiano books have come out on a number of publishers .Another reason maybe he is a little shy and isn’t interviewed a lot ,not a full enigma like Elena Ferrante or Thomas Pynchon which maybe is a problem we like a writer we can’t see and ones we can see , but somepne in-between we maybe just don’t get ! well a post of questions no answers I hope the Nobel win brings some more books by him I for one will be reading them .Maybe now he has won we will finally get to like him !
Have you a theory ?