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The 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature
Thread poster: Claudia Alvis

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
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Oct 6, 2009

The winner is announced this Friday Thursday. From what I read, the favorite is Amos Os Oz. My favorite is always Mario Vargas Llosa but chances are he'll never get it, so my more realistic pick is Thomas Pynchon, mostly because this year I've been enjoying his books a lot. Umberto Eco is another favorite of mine, it would be an interesting choice. Although I would also like to see a poet winning this or any year.

What are your picks?

Edit: Thanks for the clarifications Robert and Madeleine.

[Edited at 2009-10-06 18:43 GMT]


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Tarja Braun  Identity Verified
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John Irving Oct 6, 2009

My pick would be John Irving. (Is he nominated?)

I love his stories, have read them in English and their translations in German and Finnish. Wonderful. My favorite sentence from "Until I Find You": "Helsinki was definitely not on their itinerary. Jack didn't like the sound of it one bit. Not a city with Hell in it!"


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
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I would like to see MVL get it as well. Oct 6, 2009

I really don't read that much fiction, but I have read about 10 of Vargas Llosa's novels and several collections of his newspaper columns. He would seem worthy of consideration. There is a certain poignancy in this situation because of his advanced age. He also has not published a novel in over three years. Does anyone know if he is currently working on a new novel?

Oz (note spelling;and pronounced more or less to rhyme with "goes" rather than like the magical land) would be an especially interesting choice from a translation point of view, since probably something like 95% of those who have read his work have done so in translation, rather than in the original Hebrew.



[Edited at 2009-10-06 17:41 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
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Umberto Eco!!!!! Oct 6, 2009

I am reading "Mouse or Rat", a set of essays on translation by Umberto Eco. I love it and sincerely recommend it to any translator. It's interesting, generally easy to read and even very fun at times. Good informal reading with a professional use.

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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
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Milan Kundera Oct 6, 2009

This is 2009. I remember years ago when I used to be a ProZ Moderator (and I used to moderate this Forum too), I was the first one to start such a thread--of guessing the Nobel Laureate for the year. I am really happy to note that we have the thread this year.

It is always said that those who don't win the Nobel are far greater--Leo Tolstoy and Clarice Lispector.

But Milan Kundera hasn't won the Nobel. There's Nuruddin Farah who has been mentioned earlier.

And there's Ngugi Wa Thiong'o--all stalwarts in their own right.

Let's see who gets it. Sometimes, the Nobel committee throws up surprise names. Sometimes, there are delightful surprises too, like Orhan Pamuk.


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
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Thursday 13:00 Swedish time (currently 11:00 GMT) it is Oct 6, 2009

Claudia Alvis wrote:

The winner is announced this Friday.


More info at nobelprize.org.

@Tarja - there are no nominations for the Nobel prizes. The members of the Swedish Academy propose potential winners in a secret process.

If you want to get an idea who they might have proposed, you can check out the odds at Ladbrokes. But as nobody at the academy is supposed to leak any info, this is only a guesstimate.

Edited to add a missing negation.

[Edited at 2009-10-06 18:38 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-10-06 18:38 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
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Come on my dear colleagues! Let's keep this rational... Oct 6, 2009

.
.
.
.
ECO, ECO, ECO ECO ECO!!! It's going to be Umberto Eco. Why do you insist??


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xxxAguas de Mar
Eco... maybe... Oct 6, 2009

... I used to love him, until The Pendulum, which I did not like at all. I'd like to see Kundera get it; I am not a fan of MVL at all. But I guess this time neither of them will receive it.

[Edited at 2009-10-06 18:59 GMT]


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Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
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Juan Gelman! Oct 6, 2009

I would adore a Nobel Prize for his poetry!

(But I love Irving too!)

[Edited at 2009-10-06 19:06 GMT]


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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
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Discussion hotting up Oct 6, 2009

Wonderful to know that the discussion is hotting up. Thanks for the Ladbrokes link. There's an interesting name there--not much odds--Maya Angelou. I saw Ladbrokes for the first time in my life. I wasn't aware that F. Sionil Jose is alive. I'm happy to see Chinua Achebe there.

Achebe, Wole Soyinka's elder contemporary, father of the African novel....

In Eco's case, what I loved was Name of the Rose. I have also read a novel by Ismail Kadare. He is good.

But keeping Rushdie, whom I find very spurious.... is like keeping anyone else in it too. Llosa was always there but never got it sadly.

Well, speaking of translation... don't you think another interesting person who got the Nobel was Isaac Bashevis Singer and wasn't he someone who was translated too (from Yiddish)?


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
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I.B. Singer Oct 6, 2009

Roomy Naqvy wrote:

Well, speaking of translation... don't you think another interesting person who got the Nobel was Isaac Bashevis Singer and wasn't he someone who was translated too (from Yiddish)?

***

As far as I know, he never translated his own work. His case is even more dramatic than that of Oz in terms of being a writer who has reached readers mainly through translation. More poignant also because Yiddish was not only a tongue with very few native speakers during the latter part of Singer's career, but a dying language as well.

[Edited at 2009-10-06 19:33 GMT]


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
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The criteria Oct 6, 2009

Unlike other literary prizes/awards, the Nobel prize is supposed to be awarded to a writer who “shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”. "Work" is understood to mean not a single work, but rather all work the author has completed to date.

Writing one or two enjoyable/interesting books is therefore not enough, you have to produced a number of works which in some way add something new to the field of literature. And your production has to have "an ideal direction".

And here you can find previous winners/awardees.

Edited to add link.

[Edited at 2009-10-06 19:56 GMT]


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Faruk Atabeyli  Identity Verified
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Here is a hint, or is it a diversion? Oct 6, 2009

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091006/ap_on_re_eu/eu_nobel_literature

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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
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I think it will be a surprise again this year Oct 7, 2009

Roomy Naqvy wrote:
Milan Kundera hasn't won the Nobel


Kundera would be a good choice, or one of the African writers. Japan has some great writers too, and I don't think a Japanese author has ever won the Nobel.

Sometimes, the Nobel committee throws up surprise names


That said, I think we may be in for a surprise again this year.


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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
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Living Writers Oct 7, 2009

I'm not sure if it has to be a living writer but that is how it has been. So, we have the wonderful case of one of the world's best novelists, Jorge Amado, the great Brazilian who left this earth without getting the Nobel.

I strongly believe that of all the works that I have read in my life on the theme of love, there are only two novels that stand out-->

1. Dona Flor and her Two Husbands by Jorge Amado

and

2. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

---------

You also have some writers who become more 'celebrated' due to marketing (and some are not 'celebrated' at all) because though Miguel Angel Asturias did get the Nobel but one hardly ever hears of him in these parts of the world. But I do believe that once you have read Asturias, you might not find our great Marquez (for whom I have a lot of respect) all that great.

And Alejo Carpentier never won the Nobel too.

So, have we forgotten, Borges??? He too died and didn't get it.

[Edited at 2009-10-07 02:00 GMT]


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The 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature

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