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Thread: Nobel Literature Prize 2014

  1. #1
    Bohemian Marbles's Avatar
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    Nobel Literature Prize 2014

    Your thoughts?



    French historical author Patrick Modiano has won the 2014 Nobel Prize for literature.

    The Nobel Academy described the novelist, whose work has often focused on the Nazi occupation of France, as "a Marcel Proust of our time".

    Modiano beat bookies' favourites Japanese writer Haruki Murakami and Kenyan novelist, poet and playwright Ngugi wa Thiong'o. The last French writer to win the prize was Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio in 2008.

    The academy said the award was "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation".

    "This is someone who has written many books that echo off each other... that are about memory, identity and aspiration," Peter Englund, the academy's permanent secretary said.

    Much of the author's work, he said, looked at the Vichy regime in occupied France during World War 2, particularly the part it played in the deportation of Jews to concentration camps..
    Full news report here.
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  2. #2
    Never heard of him or read him. "A Marcel Proust of our time" is pretty high praise though. Was pulling for Roth to win.

  3. #3
    Registered User hannah_arendt's Avatar
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    I have never read anything of him. However, I am going to change it.

  4. #4
    Bohemian Marbles's Avatar
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    Americans are whining Philip Roth did not get it again. Two important novelists, a Japanese and a Kenyan, were hot favourites and quite well known for their works. They did not get it either. It went to an obscure writer almost all my learned friends hadn't heard of before.

    Now, we can expect his translations in many languages of the world and great sales because of the Nobel label.

    Interesting, this Nobel business.
    But you, cloudless girl, question of smoke, corn tassel
    You were what the wind was making with illuminated leaves.
    ah, I can say nothing! You were made of everything.

    _Pablo Neruda

  5. #5
    Registered User Frédéric Moreau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marbles View Post
    Americans are whining Philip Roth did not get it again. Two important novelists, a Japanese and a Kenyan, were hot favourites and quite well known for their works. They did not get it either. It went to an obscure writer almost all my learned friends hadn't heard of before.

    Now, we can expect his translations in many languages of the world and great sales because of the Nobel label.

    Interesting, this Nobel business.
    Modiano does seem to be a great writer (in Spain he was rather known), despite the fact he is not very much known in the English speaking world, I think his works are not translated into English. I will buy an edition of his works in Spanish and read him before giving an opinion, but I do understand the chagrin of many Americans. There are a lot of great current American writers systematically ignored by the Nobel committee: Roth, De Lillo, Pynchon, Cormac McCarthy, Franzen, etcetera. It just seems that they loathe American culture. And not to mention those great writers from all over the world so unfairly despised by the Swedish academy: Chekhov, Zola, Hardy, Ibsen, Twain, Tolstoi, Conrad, Proust, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Dos Passos, Maugham, Orwell, Borges, Alejo Carpentier, Ernesto Sabato, Nabokov and so many others. As I said before, there is no translation, so you only may read him in French or in Spanish (I don't know whether there are available more translations in other languages).

    French;

    http://www.amazon.fr/Romans-Patrick-...atrick+Modiano

    Spanish:

    http://www.amazon.es/Trilog%C3%ADa-o...atrick+modiano

    Ah, and I almost forget to say that I am glad Murikami did not win it, I think he is preposterously overrated.
    Last edited by Frédéric Moreau; 10-11-2014 at 03:12 PM.

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    Ah, another author that 10 people have read. It seems usually to be someone who wrote about an unpopular political regime. Fellow aspirants, take note.

  7. #7
    Notorious Lazybone LeNoirFaineant's Avatar
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    A German paper wrote a surprisingly good analysis of the recent developments in European literature:

    http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesells...-a-996462.html

    This general turn towards a new intimism profoundly bores me. Granted, the Nobel committee has never rewarded progressivism,
    but Modiano, from what I gather, is about as socially explosive as William Somerset Maugham - if you read him today, that is. Not an author that I would normally look out for, I think.

  8. #8
    Registered User Poetaster's Avatar
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    I've never heard of him, I do want to read him now - but not very much.
    'So - this is where we stand. Win all, lose all,
    we have come to this: the crisis of our lives'

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