Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Let's Hear it for Horace 3

Still nothing from Gwyneth. I need that newsletter. But, meanwhile, I think we must focus more seriously on this matter of Horace. He has admitted that the selection process for the Nobel Prize for Literature is biased. It is biased out of ignorance and stupidity, but that is not the point. Neither is it the point that this particular prize has a crappy record. The first in 1901 went to Sully Prudhomme. Remember him? Neither do I. Leo Tolstoy, perhaps the greatest novelist who ever lived, was around at the time. No, the point is that Engdahl has gone on the record to announce that there is, in effect, a pre-condition that the winner is not likely to be American. How do we get this guy sacked? 


  1. There's something insufferably insufferable about the whole Nobel thing really, isn't there?

  2. They got it right once and gave it to Beckett, which gave him a good laugh (and a bit of a fright).

  3. Wouldn't this make a killer celebrity life swap programme on the TV? Gwyneth moves to Stockholm and gets to decide who'll get the next Nobel Prize for Literature, meanwhile Horace poses as London housewife with strong views on macrobiotic nutrition and a keen interest in celebrity eventing.

  4. i seem to recall they omitted to grace Woolf, Joyce, Hart Crane, and Wallace Stevens, quite a feat.

  5. Not to be...umm...ethnocentric or anything, but there is something hilarious about the very notion of Swedes adjudicating the world's literature. Years ago, at the urging of a friend with Scandinavian roots, I took a crack at the Icelandic Sagas and was on the floor in hysterics after one page. As I recall the opening sentence of this Nordic Iliad was along the lines of: "After eight weeks at sea, Mord Fiddle arrived with four cows and five horses, raped three women and built a farm." Where is Monty Python when you need them?

    They make better UN Commissioners for Nuclear Disarmament. Well, no actually, they don't. Cars, that's it, they make good cars.

  6. The poem shuns thoughts as the fencer dodges the rapier's point. The aphorism permits itself to be pierced without shedding a drop of blood.

    No wonder I avoid literary critics. Full of pointless, overdressed trash. They’re also useless at having sex...

    But why go abroad when you find the same junk at home...

  7. I think you've gotta be outspoken in your politics and the politics have to be very left-wing. After all, wasn't Harold Pinter one of the last winners? Right after he'd written a truly terrible (from a literary standpoint) political poem condemning the American/Brit invasion of Iraq?

    Okay, he was an innovator, back in the day, I give you that. But if you want to give a dramatist from England a Nobel prize, shouldn't it be, um, Tom Stoppard? The one truly brilliant guy? Oh, I forgot, he's not liberal enough, preferring instead to be independent.

    What fools these mortals be. And what a costive-looking prig is Horace.

  8. Peter:

    Was it a flat-pack farm requiring only a hammer, an allen key and the ability to interpret minimalist pictorial instructions?

  9. What is it about Sweden's capacity for the mass production of twerps.
    The chef on the Muppet Show
    Ikea's designers
    Volvo's stylists
    To name but a few

  10. Sorry Malty, but I may have to ask you to step outside. I'm a peaceful man, but you have gone too far this time. The rest, by all means, but a quartet that had within it's ranks the trouser stiffening Agnetha and the sublime Anni-Frid could never be in a list titled 'twerps'. My name is a good indication of my musical leanings, but I prove here that snobbery is not my strong suit; the Abba catalogue, taken as pure 'pop' in 3 minutes, is ahead of any in that field - and yes, I am aware of all the others. Outside then?

  11. Brit:

    I don't know about that, but after you've read through that wooden dreariness, you see the long silences in Bergman films completely differently.

  12. Oh, OK then mahlerman,lets have a Waterloo moment.
    Who would have guessed that you're a Mahler fan. Went to a performance of the resurrection at Edinburgh's Usher Hall once, brilliant, dynamic, moving. Except, the Orchestra plus the chorus were bigger than the audience.
    I forgot to add Ikea's naming committee to the twerp list.

  13. how can you give "prizes" out in such subjective fields as literature and economics?

    Maybe a better prize would be to suspend these current "prizes" and look back say a 100 years and award the noble prize for literature 1908.
    Which as off now we are able to look at objectively?