The Nobel frenzy is in full swing. Adam Kirsch, over at Slate (http://www.slate.com/id/220144... ), believes that the Nobel Committee has no clue about American literature:
As long as America could still be regarded as Europe’s backwater—as long as a poet like T.S. Eliot had to leave America for England in order to become famous enough to win the Nobel—it was easy to give American literature the occasional pat on the head. But now that the situation is reversed, and it is Europe that looks culturally, economically, and politically dependent on the United States, European pride can be assuaged only by pretending that American literature doesn’t exist.
Kirsch makes a bunch of good points, but this sounds a little extreme to me. A lot of people I know (here in Europe) believe that Swedes are arrogant, but this bit makes it sound like they have an inferiority complex. In any case, I think there’s something a lot of people agree upon: Roth deserves a Nobel. But he’s not the only writer who deserves one. Maybe I’m an odd reader, but I don’t think of writers as American or Other. I do have two categories for writers, though. Good or bad.
(fadetheory.com Posted: 08 Oct 2008 )
Is the Nobel committee clueless? (2)