5 oct. 2011

More Nobel

The Nobel prize always looks for the uplifting, "idealistic" factor or the big pay-off in politico-cultural terms, like a writer protesting against an oppressive regime. "Not that there's anything wrong with that." It can't be a prize for the best writer, because there is a kind of grandeur in older ideas of the writer as intellectual serving larger causes. Not to mention the pride of national literatures or the desire to acknowledge that not all writers are Europeans or Americans. All these great motives combine to create a prize that confers enormous symbolic capital. The Nobel prize is liquid Pierre Bourdieu in highly concentrated form. It makes cultural capital visible and also constructs it. reminds us of it.

The problem is that this model of the writer intellectual seems rather dated. A winner like Saramago exemplifies this particular model, but are there many Saramagos left? Hence Bob Dylan as 5 to 1 favorite in this horse race. A cynical popular entertainer who once had a moment of political relevance, five decades ago, would be the perfect winner. If I were betting, though, I'd go with Adonis, because of the tie-in with the Arab spring. (If that's not too obvious.)

5 comentarios:

Vance Maverick dijo...

Possible you meant to refer to a "big" payoff in the opener there? Unless you're suggesting some kind of kickback to (what in a lexicon familiar to Dylan would have been) the police -- not very idealistic of you.

(And were you thinking of Darwin? "There is [a] grandeur in this view of life....")

Jonathan dijo...

Obviously I cannot type today. I've fixed that typo.

I wasn't thinking of that quote, but I should have been.

Clarissa dijo...

Poets haven't gotten the Prize for a while, if I'm not mistaken, so it might just turn out to be Adonis.

Japan, however, suffered a lot with the tsunami and the nuclear crisis, so they Murakami deserves to get acknowledged for that. :-)

Clarissa dijo...

Care Santos keeps writing articles saying "Just give it to a Russian already."

That's a nice sentiment but there is no Russian writing anything today.

Of course Care's approach is very much the same one the Nobel always seems to follow. Reward (or sometimes punish) the country by giving the Prize to one of its authors.

Vance Maverick dijo...

Good point about the poets. Szymborska, 1996 (unless you count Pinter, 2005, and please don't).