Roast Swede: A Riff On The Literary Nobelity

on Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Two days til the big Nobel announcement and yet again I find myself in a state of apoplexy. Will it go to a writer long-celebrated in the wider world a la Chinua Achebe, Haruki Murakami or Umberto Eco? Will it be a lesser known, but highly deserving writer from far afield a la Nurrudin Farrah, Antonio Lobos Antunes or Peter Nadas? Could the great anti-imperial trend finally end with those stuffy Swedes conceding that American writers like Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, Cormac McCarthy, Don Delillo and E. L. Doctorow are, at the very least, worthy of consideration? Or will it just go to another ho-hum forgettable like Elfriede Jelinek?

Interestingly, Ladbrokes has Syrian poet Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said) as favourite and - get ready for this - Bob Dylan as number two. I assume they mean Bob Dylan the fiery troubador of old, not the more recent boring fuddy-duddy mumbler who embarrasses himself every time he staggers on to a stage. For my part I'd love to see it go to Milan Kundera, William H. Gass, Margaret Atwood or Ismail Kadare. And yet I have this sinking feeling I'm gonna be bitching about J. K. Rowling on Friday... Brace yourselves folks!


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