Posts Tagged: Nobel Prize

The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #9: Punk the Deadline!

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Oh my god, I’m stuck again. A truck in the muck. A cat up a tree. An explorer in quicksand. Winnie the Pooh in the door of Rabbit’s house. Trying to birth a column and needing a Caesarean. Is there any horror worse for a writer than a deadline?

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Selma Lagerlöf, an Exception to the Rule

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Since the the first Nobel Prize was awarded, Cassie Gonzales explains in “An Unconventional Nobel Laureate” at the Ploughshares blog, the Laureate winner list has not been a bastion of diversity. However, Selma Lagerlöf was an exception—in her brief, funny essay, Gonzalez explains how a “disabled, Swedish, cross-genre, lady-loving author” bucked the white male (and heterosexual and able-bodied) trend back in 1909.

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A Bigger Wall

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Yesterday, The Millions featured an exclusive “essay” from a certain Republican presidential hopeful about his plan to make Western literature great again:

We’re going to take back the Western canon, folks. We are going to build a big beautiful wall around books written by white people and we’re going to make the immigrants and the African-American writers pay for it.

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A Nobel Refusal

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Jean-Paul Sartre became the only Nobel literature laureate to voluntarily decline the honor in 1964, but as newly released archives from the Swedish Academy reveal, it was at least partially due to a failure in correspondence. Sartre wrote to the Nobel committee that fall, as they were deliberating on a ballot with no runaway favorites; if his letter had arrived before they came to an agreement, the decision might have swung another way, perhaps resulting in a win for Mikhail Sholokhov a year early, or for Auden, who never received a Nobel prize.

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Philip Roth is a Loser

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He has won every other literary prize in the book, including the Man Booker International, the Prix Medicis Etranger, the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, a position of dominance that, in line with European-held stereotypes about his countrymen generally, only leaves him wanting more.

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Mountains, Lowlands, and Archipelagos

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Horace Engdahl thinks that creative writing programs and the walled-off communities academic programs create are hurting western literature. Since writing courses help monetize writing—and fund writers as professionals—Engdahl worries that the courses are removing writers from the real world. Engdahl finds fault with literary criticism, too:

“We talk in the same way about everything which is published, and literary criticism is poorer for it,” he said.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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Having a social life on weekends is fun, but what if you missed our killer Rumpus weekend features?! No worries, we’ve collected them for you here.

On Saturday, Shawn Andrew Mitchell reviewed Dark Lies the Island by recent Rumpus interviewee Kevin Barry:

In one paragraph a poet-narrator might describe how “the sky had shucked the last of its evening grey to take on an intense purplish tone that was ominous, close-in, biblical” but in the next he announces “Sky is weirdin’ up like I don’t know fucking what.”

Then Margo Rabb wrote a touching tribute to Alice Munro about what the Nobel prize winner, “the only author I’ve ever written a fan letter to,” has meant to her personally throughout her life.

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