Nobel Prize for Literature 2017 - Kazuo Ishiguro
Thread poster: Annamaria Amik

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:50
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Oct 6

https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2017/press.html

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2017
Kazuo Ishiguro

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2017 is awarded to the English author Kazuo Ishiguro

"who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:50
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Overstatement Oct 6

Annamaria Amik wrote:

.....who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".


"Emotional force" is the last thing that occurs to me, in Ishiguro's novels. He writes well, and is very good at picking up on how people actually talk, but there's a terrible, dead, mean claustrophobia about everything.

Each of his books seems to be based on a basically simple idea anyone could have had, which he then expands into a long narrative, over which this little idea is gradually revealed.

Enough for the Nobel Prize, perhaps, but not for me.

[Edited at 2017-10-06 08:43 GMT]


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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
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Agree Oct 6

Tom in London wrote:

Annamaria Amik wrote:

.....who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".


"Emotional force" is the last thing that occurs to me, in Ishiguro's novels. He writes well, and is very good at picking up on how people actually talk, but there's a terrible, dead, mean claustrophobia about everything.

Each of his books seems to be based on a basically simple idea anyone could have had, which he then expands into a long narrative, over which this little idea is gradually revealed.

Enough for the Nobel Prize, perhaps, but not for me.


Yes. For a long time now the Nobel Prize for Literature has failed to represent literary value.
I buddy-read Ishiguro with a friend about ten years ago and the only intellectual enjoyment it offered us was the many ways we could laugh at the obvious tearjerkingness of the whole idea behind Never Let Me Go, not to mention its execution.
Oh well.


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Gitte Hovedskov
Denmark
Local time: 18:50
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Emperor's new clothes Oct 6

Tom in London wrote:


"...but there's a terrible, dead, mean claustrophobia about everything.

Each of his books seems to be based on a basically simple idea anyone could have had, which he then expands into a long narrative, over which this little idea is gradually revealed..."


So glad to see somebody else verbalising this...

It makes a mockery of the whole idea of the Nobel Prize being the greatest literature prize of all...


I couldn't help laughing when a critic said something along these lines:
"It's a bit like when Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize simply for not being Bush".

Not far off...

[Edited at 2017-10-06 11:25 GMT]


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Daniel Frisano
Monaco
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A sign of modern times Oct 6

Years ago I was talked into reading Never Let Me Go by someone who adored it, and all the time I had this annoying sensation that it was written with the clear goal of guiding the reader through a sequence of prepackaged pseudo-emotions that were programmed from start to finish.

At about 1/4 quarter along the novel I quickly jumped ahead reading half-pages at random and it was more of the same.

This technique seems to be all-pervading in most modern forms of communication. For once I'd love to read some contemporary author just telling their story and let ME having whatever feelings I get from it, instead of trying all the time to shove them in my face.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:50
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Never read Ishiguro but… Oct 6

…judging from the reactions, I should just skip his books. Honestly, I haven't read any modern fiction in years, except Susanna Clark's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, an excellent book on magic as force of nature which was made into a six-part series on BBC in 2015.

I derive more joy from nonfiction books myself. I am thinking that awarding the yearly Nobel prize of literature to a single author is like picking your favorite instrumental piece or pop song from hundreds of thousands of choices around the world. You're bound to make most people unhappy with the ultimate selection.

Oh, well. Back to reading Le Carré this month.



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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:50
Member (2008)
Italian to English
I recommend Oct 6

Daniel Frisano wrote:

....For once I'd love to read some contemporary author just telling their story and let ME having whatever feelings I get from it, instead of trying all the time to shove them in my face.


I recommend Richard Ford: the Bascombe Trilogy. American realism.


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diana bb  Identity Verified
Lithuania
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I am delighted, actually Oct 7

Ishiguro has been one of my favourite writers for many years, probably since I read his novel The Unconsoled. It is an extraordinary and overwhelming work that draws you into its clutches and keeps you there up until the final full stop. His novels An Artist of the Floating World, A Pale View of Hills, and When We Were Orphans are also great. I am really happy about this year's Nobel in literature.

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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
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Why Oct 9

Gitte Hovedskov wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

"...but there's a terrible, dead, mean claustrophobia about everything.

Each of his books seems to be based on a basically simple idea anyone could have had, which he then expands into a long narrative, over which this little idea is gradually revealed..."


So glad to see somebody else verbalising this...

It makes a mockery of the whole idea of the Nobel Prize being the greatest literature prize of all...

I couldn't help laughing when a critic said something along these lines:
"It's a bit like when Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize simply for not being Bush".

Not far off...


Certainly there are other worthy contemporary authors who are far more original and more important in world literature than Ishiguro (e.g. David Mitchell, to mention another Brit, or even Margaret Atwood; or my own top choice for the Nobel, Lyudmila Ulitskaya). And there would be even more if there weren't any implicit genre-shaming in these famous awards. I found his Never Let Me Go too syrupy, but he was still a safe choice after last year's blunder.


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Maia Nikitina
United Kingdom
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One of my favourite authors Oct 9

I have to disagree with those of you who find Ishiguru unworthy of the Nobel Prize. I love his novel The Unconsoled, as well as all the others, but my favourite has to be When We Were Orphans. I think his fiction can seem very gentle and devoid of emotion at first glance, but just like his characters, it has real depth and impact. I can only liken reading his fiction with what I imagine it would be like to step into someone's mind and wander around all those weird little corridors. I'm delighted he won this year. His short stories are great too.

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Nobel Prize for Literature 2017 - Kazuo Ishiguro

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