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?...more
Posts Tagged: Nobel Prize
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....more
The Nobel Prize in Literature went to Bob Dylan this year, sparking debate around the songwriter’s legacy and whether song lyrics should be considered poetry. Those in the pro camp attribute the win to the persistent singularity of Dylan’s songwriting, in combination with the depth of material he drew from....more
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.
Reporter and writer Svetlana Alexievich recently won the Nobel Prize for literature. In a piece for the New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch brings up some questions that this poses about the relationship between reportage literature and other forms—is one more necessary or relevant in our current times?...more
Tomas Tranströmer, the beloved Swedish poet and Nobel laureate, has passed away at age 83. Tranströmer was notable for the economy of his work, its quiet optimism, and the insights it brought from the poet’s long career as an industrial psychologist....more
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....more
Any author writing about contemporary experience in their own country can be seen as providing some kind of historical record. Modiano, however, goes further. His oeuvre – upward of twenty novels, plus poetry, plays and children’s fiction – acts as commentary and analysis of the French post-war experience.
I couldn’t sell them to Chicago for landfill.
Patrick Modiano was practically unknown in America until he won the Nobel Prize, but David Godine, an independent publisher, has had boxes of his books for years. The Boston Globe has a profile of Godine and his dedication to producing what he calls “unsellable books.”...more
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.
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.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez died yesterday at home in Mexico City. 87 years since his birth in Aracataca, CO, “Gabo” Marquez has written over twenty novels and short story collections. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and may have been the most important Latin-American writer of the last century....more
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....more