Posted in Nobel Prize, WTF by expatatlarge on October 8, 2009

…goes to someone no-one outside of her closeted family and introverted friends have ever heard of… and E@L smiles an inscrutable smile and sits back, knowing his day will surely come.

From The Daily Mail last year, when some unknown French dude, LeClezio (a berm? A BERM?), won The Prize:

The last U.S. writer to win the prize was Toni Morrison in 1993.

“The U.S. is too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature,” Engdahl said. “That ignorance is restraining.”

His comments were met with fierce reactions from the literary world
across the Atlantic. The head of the U.S. National Book Foundation offered to send Engdahl a reading list.

In Sweden, Jonas Thente, a literature critic at daily Dagens Nyheter, said he hoped U.S. writers Thomas Pynchon [YAY!] and Don DeLillo [not so much vit de YAYing] would share the prize.

“This year’s scandal is about American literature, which has more or less been disrespected by the secretary of the academy,” Thente said in a video clip on the newspaper’s Web site. “I would hope that the big American postmodern novel finally gets the prize.”

The academy often picks obscure writers, making it nearly impossible to predict a winner, but Engdahl denied that academy tries to surprise observers.

“We get astonished by the fact that the general public finds the choice so unexpected,” he said. “Those who finally get the award and become laureates are often old acquaintances, they are old goodies that the academy has chewed on for quite a while and therefore know very well.”

Other names mentioned in speculation on the 2008 prize include Romanian novelist Herta Muller[sic], Japanese author Haruki Murakami, Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru and Danish poet Inger Christensen.

Herta Mueller [correct spelling]? Who the fuck? How far up your own arse do you have to be, I swear, as if there aren’t dozens, hundreds, of people who haven’t done more for world literature than this – I am sure personable and lovely – lady (unlike that psycho-bitch Elfriede Jelinek who didn’t even turn up [whom I admire, and I loved The Piano Teacher]), who deserve a pat on the back and cup of tea and a million bucks worth of encouragement more than this niche market nobody. For her to be up there with Thomas Mann, Patrick White and Germaine Greer [whom she resembles, nicht var?], I don’t think so!


But if being obscure and unknown means winning The Prize…

E@L? yeah I know him, I saw him it at the Wine Connection tonight on Robinson Walk, writer guy on the innergneck. He was pissed again. HE should win the Nobled prize, fer sher, if for nothing else then this interchange with the venerable Milos on the noble medium of the SMS:

Milos: Can’t come and join you guys. My sister is depressed.

E@L: Your sister is depressed? Well, mine… has her moments too – trumps to me.

Milso: Nah, she just got cancer.

E@L: Mmm…. bad… sorry to hear.

Milos: I’ll get over it, she’ll die.

E@L: Cancer therapy these days, man she’ll live forever. You, however, ARE doomed. Me, I won’t live long enough to get cancer. How many fat old guys you see?

Milos: Come live with me, it’s like Belsen over here, without the good uniforms of course.

E@L (runs out of inspiration, gets depressed, conversation peters out…)

Sigh. The world is fucked, the good people get cancer, the unknown win the lottery.



Nobel Prize For Literature Goes To E@L

Posted in blah blah, books, Nobel Prize by expatatlarge on October 6, 2009

For collecting literature that is, not creating it.

Fuck, what am I going to with all these books? Izzy had to buy another IKEA shelf to catch the overflow in her room as I store most of my S-F stuff in there. The lounge room is packed, – four bookshelves, one of them double stacked. My bedroom has its double set of tall IKEA construct-a-shelves which were meant to just hold the books I am currently reading but now they are bloated and double stacked with just my recent (last 12 months) purchases!

Even with my current purchasing criteria of a) nothing contemporary and b) nothing American, (unless the book is recommended by friend, Dick Headley or Martin Amis) things are getting out of hand.

It’s just the way I am…

I get into a conversation with someone and have to buy the political philosophy books I should have read before even attempting to participate in the dialogue. I have an idea for a story set in the Russian Gulags and therefore I have read (purchase I mean) everything about Mandelstam and Akhmatova and Solzhenitzen and Stalin ever written. Someone asks about happiness and I grab all the psychologists and philosophers I can find who have an opinion. My head spins as my piles of books grow.

Because you see:

Books expand to fill the shelves available.

And then some.


Meanwhile we wait and wonder for Thursday, the day that the Swedish Spending-Profits-From-Dynamite Academy pronounce on their deliberations for the real Nobel Prize for Literature.

Does anyone have any idea which obscure unpublished Andean poet or Namibian blogger/twitterer they will throw their dart at this year? Which one that is still alive that is, as all the famous people (who deserve to be famous) seem to be dead at the moment. Except in and around Australia!

My sincere and unbiased guesses for the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature:

Les Murray – Australia: The big bloke is still kicking on, so go on, give another Australian a plaudit (can we claim Coetzee, since he lives there?) Les has actually has been short-listed before, so this really is a serious suggestion. Either Les or…

Clive Barker James – Australia: Because, let’s face it, he’s funny and he’s on TV and he keeps churning out books, which is what counts, PLUS if Les and Clive were in the same room a) you wouldn’t fit in and b) you couldn’t tell them apart. Plus he’s a buddy of Martin Amis (who hasn’t got a chance for the Prize as he is too short, and it turns out hasn’t even read “Journey To The End Of The Night” all the way through.) Perfect unexpected but popular choice.

Germain Greer – Australia: the harpie of Earl’s Court has been immensely prolific in upsetting everyone, even claiming the Mrs Shakespeare (she of the second-best bed) wrote all Will’s works. Well if she didn’t she should’ve, just to stick it up ’em. The Swedish just love a rebel.

Other than that I can think of anyone writing currently who deserves the kudos. Apart from Thomas Pynchon, who is currently running at 9/1 on the books, well behind Amos Oz (OZ? Not an Aussie?! – no, a popular Israeli novelist), Joyce Carole Oates and Assia Djebar (Assia, not Aussier?! – no, an obscure Algerian novelist). Not to mention Philip Roth.

Go Les, go Clive, go Germaine!


Nice to see an actual Australian (despite the headline, she was born in Australia but has dual American citizenship), Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn, has already received a third of the Nobel Prize for Medicine this year, even though it seems she did at least half the work, having collaborated with both the other winners on the two breakthrough achievement recognized by the Committee. I wonder, do they have to split it equally? Is that really fair?

As far as the other prizes go, I think Joseph, the guy I was having a chin-wag with the other day should win the Economics Nobel Prize. He was convinced he was 100% correct on everything, including all the reasons that the world economy is as fucked up as it is right now, and I couldn’t prove him wrong at all because I am just an armchair socialist with my head up my arse* (uncomfortable way to watch TV).

His buddy, Comb-over John, who is currently arguing that Old People (check the Sunday schedule – note the presence of Germaine Greer!) should be turned into green crackers and distributed to the hungry of the world, should get the Politics Nobel nod. Nice one, John.

But that would only make three!

For my money, the guy who created iSnack 2.0 should get the Chemistry Nobel Prize. Putting Vegemite and Cheese IN THE SAME BOTTLE – what an unsurpassed victory in molecular bonding. And that makes…


If we can just get the Lit prize, and we have a genuine show with my choices I reckon, that might give us a real chance of winning the most prestigious cultural medal tally in the world for 2009!! Wouldn’t that be fantastic?

C’mon Noble Aussie, c’mon! Aussie Aussie Aussie!! Prize! Prize! Prize!.


Kulcha? We just ooze it.


* private correspondence.