In Literary News & Discussion
Hello Gentle Reader
Part I: Freedom to or Freedom From?
Margaret Atwood wrote an article for the UK newspaper “The Guardian,” about freedom. The opens with the following:
‘“A Robin Redbreast in a cage, Puts all Heaven in a Rage,” wrote William Blake. “Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall,” wrote John Milton, channelling God’s musings about mankind and free will in the third book of Paradise Lost. “Freedom, high-day, high-day, freedom … !” chants Caliban in The Tempest. Mind you, he is drunk at the time, and overly optimistic: the choice he is making is not freedom, but subjection to a tyrant.”
The article discusses the concept of freedom, in our ever changing world, which has become more and more frightening. As Atwood continues in the next paragraph of the article, she outlies the two freedoms of our ever more public safety conscious world:
“We’re always talking about it, this “freedom”. But what do we mean by it? “There is more than one kind of freedom,” Aunt Lydia lectures the captive Handmaids in my 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. “Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it.”’
All of this may be interestingly situated as Canada is currently in one of the longest federal political campaigns of recent memory. But the article makes various and striking points of freedom, and its often misconstrued sense of the term.
Margaret Atwood though, has been noted for his dystopian novels as of late; and her article showcases how with the recent technological conveniences of late, there are increased invasions of privacy. Though the question is: do we wish for freedom to, or freedom from? Do we wish to fly free, and risk being eaten by the cat? Or do we remain in the cage, being watched over by the cat?
Part II: Lets Discuss the Nobels:
Part II A: The Two-Thousand and Nine Nobel Disaster
It has been announced, that the two-thousand and nine, Nobel Peace Prize, was a mistake. According to Geir Lundestad, the Secretary of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, for a quarter of a century the two-thousand and nine Peace Prize, was awarded to President Obama, in hopes of giving the president a boost. However, in his book Lundestad, had stated that many thought the award was a mistake – citing it as too early. That year’s Nobel Peace Prize, was a surprising and controversial shock to many; including President Obama himself, who almost did not go to Oslo to receive the Award. Lundestad’s book though discusses more than just Obama’s mistaken award; but cover his twenty-five years of being a non-voting member of the committee.
Part II B: The Ten Most Popular Nobel Laureates for Literature
According to the Nobel Prize facebook page, the ten most popular Nobel Laureates for Literature are as follows:
1. Patrick Modiano (Nobel Laureate 2014)
2. Rabindranath Tagore (Nobel Laureate 1913)
3. John Steinbeck (Nobel Laureate 1962)
4. Ernest Hemingway (Nobel Laureate 1954)
5. William Fualkner (Nobel Laureate 1949)
6. Albert Camus (Nobel Laureate 1957)
7. Wisława Szymborska (Nobel Laureate 1996)
8. Gabriel García Márquez (Nobel Laureate 1982)
9. [Sir] Winston Churchill (Nobel Laureate 1953)
10. Pablo Nerdua (Nobel Laureate 1971)
An interesting, but if at times, odd list. I would never have guessed Churchill on that list or Rabindranath Tagore. Some are understandable Marquez for putting South America onto the literary map; and Szymborska for her gentle and wise poems that are accessible and delightful to read. But at times to see Steinbeck on the list, is a bit disappointing.
If I am to create my own smaller list of my five favourite Nobel Laureates it would be as follows:
1. Herta Müller (Nobel Laureate 2009)
2. Alice Munro (Nobel Laureate 2013)
3. Wisława Szymborska (Nobel Laureate 1996)
4. Patrick Modiano (Nobel Laureate 2014)
5. Jean Marie Gustav Le Clezio (Nobel Laureate 2008)
Well Gentle Reader, now you too can state and reason who you think deserves a Nobel Prize – be it Physics, Chemistry, Medicine & Physiology, Literature, Peace or Economics.
That’s all for now Gentle Reader. But as the days get closer to October, the excitement grows for the Nobel Prize’s announcements. Though the Swedish Academy has not set a date for the announcement there is a prediction it will be October 8th.
Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
And As Always
Stay Well Read