The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


I like the Nobel Prize for literature because no one ever seems to guess who will get it or, even better, one time out of three, no one seems able to say anything about who won. No one in the English-speaking press comically had much to say about the prizes that went to Ketersz, Saramango or Fo. Fo they could do, because he was a communist, so they could talk about that. I imagine the book critics as panicked freshmen at High School, realizing the book report is due today, as opposed to never due, and is going to be on that Hungarian poet. I imagine them saying "O fuck, why couldn't Margaret Atwood have won on the day I have to go back home and let the plumber in to mend the guest bathroom."

The other thing I like is how I haven't heard of so many of the early winners:
BJØRNSTJERNE MARTINUS BJØRNSON: tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit.
COUNT MAURICE (MOORIS) POLIDORE MARIE BERNHARD MAETERLINCK: in appreciation of his manysided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers' own feelings and stimulate their imaginations.
CARL FRIEDRICH GEORG SPITTELER in special appreciation of his epic, Olympian Spring.
WLADYSLAW STANISLAW REYMONT (pen-name of REYMENT ), for his great national epic, The Peasants.

and my personal favorites:
HALLDÓR KILJAN LAXNESS for his vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland.
KNUT PEDERSEN HAMSUN for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil.
It's disappointing when names like Pirandello and Sinclair Lewis start to crop up (crop up like the growth of the soil!.)