Saturday, October 10, 2009

If you were in the Nobel Committee


So finally the Nobel Committee awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Literature to another European -- Herta Muller. You can't blame people for saying that the Nobel is very Euro-centric, as most of the recent winners came from Europe. Of course, you can't blame them since they are, after all, Europeans.

I'm sure that, in the coming weeks, our local bookstores would now be flooded with the novels of Muller, who incidentally looks like my preschool teacher. Last year's winner Le Clezio was virtually unheard of here in Manila. Now, you'll never fail to find at least two of his novels in bookstores.

Still, I was secretly hoping for an Asian or African novelist, poet, or dramatist to win. I'm sure there are a lot out there. They can sure use the exposure that winning the Nobel Prize brings. I would also be happy to see Philip Roth or Amos Oz get the Nobel.

How about you, dear reader? Which writer would you like to receive the Nobel Prize?

13 comments:

Something's Dishy said...

Never heart of Muller but past winners have included...Gao Xingjian, Toni Morrison, Kenzabure Oe, Naguib Mahfouz, G.G. Marquez, and many other nationalities. I think it's very international already and the good thing is we learn about writers we may never have heard of like Muller. Must look her up....

Peter S. said...

Hi, Mrs. B! I'm sure that Fully Booked would stock up on her books.

rise said...

F. Sionil José is a good bet from Asia I think. I also like Umberto Eco and Javier Marías to win. And indeed Philip Roth will make for a deserving laureate.

David Wagner said...

Maybe if the awarded GRRMartin the Nobel, he'd finish Dance With Dragons...

Who would I like to see win the Nobel? I'd want anyone that looks like Tom Hanks to win... that way Tom Hanks could play him (or her) when they make a movie out of his (or her) life.

mel u said...

Thomas Pynchon-just to see if he would actually come himself to get it or send a stand in like he did at the National Book Awards when he send comedian Irwin Corey to give his acceptance speech. I think he deserves it for Gravity's Rainbow-I do not see the nominations as Euro centered and I would hate to see this or any other awards group say "Ok we gave a German the award this year so we have to give one to an Asian then next year and African then a South American and oh yes most of the winners are over 6 foot tall so we must give the award to a short person next year...give it to the best, the most deserving-

Peter S. said...

@rise; I haven't read a novel by F. Sionil Jose yet. Although, I've heard that he's been nominated several times. Of course, we have no way of knowing if this is true since the list of nominees is also a secret.

@David Wagner: That would be a good motivation for George R.R. Martin.

@Mel: Oh yes, Thomas Pynchon is a good bet, especially if the Nobel Committee is feeling masochistic.

Cynewyn said...

Oh dear - I confess that I've never heard of any of the Nobel winners that've been mentioned! The most modern author I studied at Uni was Chaucer, and I have to confess the Bronté sisters are about as modern as I'll go without being under duress...I should maybe make an effort, but if I could award a Nobel prize it'd go to authors long dead but who've made such a contribution to our literature that they've become ingrained into our social fabric and collective memory - speaking as a European...but I've no experience of anything else, so maybe I shouldn't even comment! ;-)

Alexia561 said...

Like Cynewyn, I haven't heard of most of the previous winners. And just because an author is an award winner, whether it's the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer, or Oprah's book club pick, will not make me want to read a book that doesn't appeal to me. Sad, but true...

Peter S. said...

@Cynewyn: Oh mt goodness, you've read Chaucer! Hmmm... I'll put The Canterbury Tales in my TBR pile.

@Alexia: You're one of the few persons who can do that. I've always been curious about obscure authors who win awards.

StephanieD said...

I thought this would be Murakami's year.

Peter S. said...

Hi, StephanieD! I think we have to wait for a few more years before Murakami can even be seriously considered. The Nobel Committee recognizes the oeuvre of an author, so they usually pick authors who are quite senior.

Cynewyn said...

@Peter: there's a brilliant modern English version in Penguin Classics - well worth a read! Some of the Canterbury Tales are extremely funny...

Peter S. said...

Hi, Cynewyn! I'll definitely be on the lookout for that one.