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December 11, 2008 Posted by | James Joyce, Roykeanz, _BABE, _CARTOON, _PHOTOGRAPHY | Leave a comment

The Nobel Prize in Literature – an Alternative Universe

Interesting piece below from greatbooksguide talking about the crazy world of the Nobel Prize for Literature and suggesting alternative, and potentially more worthy, winners than those awarded the prize.

We need to say that it’s absolutely shameful that the greatest novelist of the modern era, James Joyce – one of the key founders of modernism and a writer who has to some extent influenced every writer who came after – has not won the Nobel Prize.

It’s now 86 years since the greatest novel of all time, Ulysses, was first published by Sylvia Beach. For that work alone, he should deserve the prize – let alone for other great works like Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and the uber-experimental masterpiece Finnegans Wake, as well as his great poetry and other works.

The situation is crazy. Why can the Nobel Committee not award the prize to Joyce now, even at this stage? Better late than eternally dumb!!

Shameful too that Charles Bukowski, one of the greatest writers of the past 50 years (not only as novelist but as short story writer, poet, screen-writer and non-fiction writer too) and Bob Dylan, one of the greatest poets of modern times, have also not won.

Not far behind would be the marvelous Hubert Selby Jr and the great John Fante!

These great artists, however, created works that are far outside what the culture nazis and the cobwebbed world of academia narrow-mindedly, and insanely, consider “proper literature”!

So fuck academia and let’s have a gander at the great Bukowski in action, speaking about a not dissimilar topic!

Ted Gioia came up with the list below of winners from an alternative reality!

A few interesting names I would agree with. However, there are quite a few odd choices in there!

Some of them are very odd indeed! Prime amongst which would be JK Rowling! If Rowling ever wins a Nobel, I will do a Kurt Cobain with a shotgun!!

Article below from

The Nobel Prize in Literature from an Alternative Universe (2008)
– by Ted Gioia

Note: In 2007, I wrote an article on what the Nobel Prize in Literature might look like in an alternative universe. This little piece generated a surprising amount of discussion and debate (see original article here).

The premise was simple. As I wrote then: “Imagine a world in which such honors are exempt from pettiness, politics and tokenism. Imagine a Nobel Prize in which the contributions of Proust, Kafka, Nabokov and Joyce are not forgotten. Imagine a Nobel Prize in Literature in which genre writers have a chance. Imagine a Nobel Prize in Literature that doesn’t bend over backward to exclude native born U.S. writers (only three honored during the last 52 years!).”

These words seem even more relevant to me now than they did a year ago. But no matter how bad the Nobel decisions might look, at least I have my alternative universe. The judges at the Swedish Academy are smarter than you think. They really out-did themselves this year by orchestrating a clever disinformation campaign attacking all American novelists across the board (that was a giveaway right then, my friends)—then they turn around and give the award to Don DeLillo. They are a sly bunch!

Of course, I saw it coming all along.

Secretary of the Swedish Academy Horace Engdahl may have fooled everyone else, but when I heard his recent rant on the broad-mindedness and lack of insularity of European culture, I knew immediately that thiswas comedy and performance art ofthe highest quality. After all, a recentsurvey to pick the best Swedishworks of fiction of all time had Pippi Longstocking in fourth place. Say no more. We don’t even need to get into the topic of Mohammed and newspaper cartoons.

You have to give Engdahl credit for keeping a straight face even while he performed his little skit. He is a real wit and knows how to pull your leg—sort of the Borat of serious literature. Yet it’s amazing how many people took the bait. Some folks were even predicting the award would go to Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio of France—as a way of demonstrating the Academy’s commitment to anti-insularity. Huh? That would be like going to Alaska to find a running mate . . .

DeLillo is a brilliant choice. In a few days, he will turn 72, and he has written fifteen novels, including classics such as White Noise and Underworld. No contemporary writer has a better feel for dialogue or is less . . . well, insular. His critique of the banality and dehumanization of American life is much more incisive and interesting than anything you will hear in the hallowed halls of the Svenska Akademien.

I know I should be celebrating the event, but I can’t help wondering what the Swedish Academy has in store next year.

How can they top this one, with its real-life meta-fiction angles.

Fool me once, Mr. Engdahl, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Below is a complete list of past winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature from an alternative universe.

Year Actual Winner
Alternative Reality Winner
1901 Sully Prudhomme Leo Tolstoy
1902 Theodor Mommsen George Meredith
1903 Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson Anton Chekhov
1904 Frédéric Mistral, José Echegaray Jules Verne
1905 Henryk Sienkiewicz Henrik Ibsen
1906 Giosuè Carducci Mark Twain
1907 Rudyard Kipling Rudyard Kipling
1908 Rudolf Eucken John Millington Synge
1909 Selma Lagerlöf August Strindberg
1910 Paul Heyse W.S. Gilbert
1911 Maurice Maeterlinck Henry James
1912 Gerhart Hauptmann William Dean Howells
1913 Rabindranath Tagore George Trakl
1915 Romain Rolland Guillaume Apollinaire
1916 Verner von Heidenstam Sigmund Freud
1917 Karl Gjellerup, Henrik Pontoppidan Joseph Conrad
1919 Carl Spitteler Thomas Hardy
1920 Knut Hamsun Rainer Maria Rilke
1921 Anatole France Marcel Proust
1922 Jacinto Benavente Franz Kafka
1923 William Butler Yeats William Butler Yeats
1924 Wladyslaw Reymont Miguel de Unamuno
1925 George Bernard Shaw George Bernard Shaw
1926 Grazia Deledda Arthur Conan Doyle
1927 Henri Bergson Constantine P. Cavafy
1928 Sigrid Undset Edith Wharton
1929 Thomas Mann Thomas Mann
1930 Sinclair Lewis F. Scott Fitzgerald
1931 Erik Axel Karlfeldt G. K. Chesterton
1932 John Galsworthy Zane Grey
1933 Ivan Bunin Stefan Zweig
1934 Luigi Pirandello Luigi Pirandello
1936 Eugene O’Neill Eugene O’Neill
1937 Roger Martin du Gard James Joyce
1938 Pearl Buck Virginia Woolf
1939 Frans Eemil Sillanpää Robert Musil
1944 Johannes V. Jensen W. H. Auden
1945 Gabriela Mistral George Orwell
1946 Hermann Hesse Hermann Broch
1947 André Gide André Gide
1948 T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot
1949 William Faulkner William Faulkner
1950 Bertrand Russell Ludwig Wittgenstein
1951 Pär Lagerkvist Dorothy Parker
1952 François Mauriac Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
1953 Winston Churchill Wallace Stevens
1954 Ernest Hemingway Ernest Hemingway
1955 Halldòr Laxness Bertolt Brecht
1956 Juan Ramón Jiménez Raymond Chandler
1957 Albert Camus Albert Camus
1958 Boris Pasternak E. M. Forster
1959 Salvatore Quasimodo Cole Porter
1960 Saint-John Perse Ian Fleming
1961 Ivo Andric William Carlos Willaims
1962 John Steinbeck John Steinbeck
1963 Giorgios Seferis Giorgios Seferis
1964 Jean-Paul Sartre Jean-Paul Sartre
1965 Mikhail Sholokhov Jack Kerouac
1966 Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Nelly Sachs Agatha Christie, Jorge Luis Borges
1967 Miguel Angel Asturias Vladimir Nabokov
1968 Yasunari Kawabata Yukio Mishima
1969 Samuel Beckett Samuel Beckett
1970 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
1971 Pablo Neruda Pablo Neruda
1972 Heinrich Böll J.R.R. Tolkein
1973 Patrick White Lionel Trilling
1974 Eyvind Johnson, Harry Martinson John Lennon, Paul McCartney
1975 Eugenio Montale Eugenio Montale
1976 Saul Bellow Saul Bellow
1977 Vicente Aleixandre Tennessee Williams
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer Isaac Bashevis Singer
1979 Odysseus Elytis Philip K. Dick
1980 Czeslaw Milosz Czeslaw Milosz
1981 Elias Canetti Elias Canetti
1982 Gabriel García Márquez Gabriel García Márquez
1983 William Golding Graham Greene
1984 Jaroslav Seifert Italo Calvino
1985 Claude Simon Philip Larkin
1986 Wole Soyinka Eugene Ionesco
1987 Joseph Brodsky Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein
1988 Naguib Mahfouz Salman Rushdie
1989 Camilo José Cela Theodor Seuss Geisel
1990 Octavio Paz Octavio Paz
1991 Nadine Gordimer Muriel Spark
1992 Derek Walcott Bob Dylan
1993 Toni Morrison Ralph Ellison
1994 Kenzaburo Oe Stephen Sondheim
1995 Seamus Heaney Isaiah Berlin
1996 Wislawa Szymborska Stanisław Lem
1997 Dario Fo Hunter Thompson
1998 José Saramago Roberto Bolaño
1999 Günter Grass Tom Stoppard
2000 Gao Xingjian Haruki Murakami
2001 V. S. Naipaul V. S. Naipaul
2002 Imre Kertész John le Carré
2003 J. M. Coetzee Mario Vargas Llosa
2004 Elfriede Jelinek John Updike
2005 Harold Pinter Milan Kundera
2006 Orhan Pamuk Philip Roth
2007 Doris Lessing J.K. Rowling
2008 Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio Don DeLillo

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Charles Bukowski, James Joyce, Marilyn Monroe, OTHER_LITERATURE, _BOB DYLAN, _OTHER, _VIDEO | 2 Comments