The Birdcage Archives

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Autumn Rounds

 Hello Gentle Reader
Summer burned bright but has now burned out. Summers gradual extinguishment became increasingly noticeable as the nights arrived and settled early. By August’s end and September’s arrival, summer had all but waved goodbye; all the while autumns hold is acknowledged as the apparent reality. The season is punctuated with turned leaves. Formerly filled with the rejuvenate qualities of green, their waxy life swaying and swooshing in the breeze; they have now been reduced to the sickly burning colours of absence. They scatter with paper scratches echoing down the streets. They tumble away carelessly. Lawn mowers have been retired to the garden sheds. Garden hoses are hung up for the season. They have been replaced with the rake dredging and collecting the leaves on the grass. Piles of stiff and wispy leaves scatter the lawn like bales after harvest. In time they are bagged up and hauled away off to some compost facility. Frost glints in the morning. It stiffens the grass straight back and alert, while icing up the windshields. The forecast foreshadows the transient nature of autumn may conclude. As the days recede and the nights extend, winter is bound to bellow down with an extended stay. Regardless, of what the foreshadowed forecasting future holds with blizzards, snowbanks, snowsqualls, and whiteouts—autumn is by far the more agreeable season of the quartet. Much like life, spring is a messy affair. As the earth thaws it grows wet with mud. Though as the sun and the days extend, the trees bud then leafing out, while the blooms burst open. The birds return and rejoice with the spring as the season that renews. Summer on the contrary is the most blistering, scorching, and sweltering tyrant. Despite its tyrannical rampage, in the celestial dog days of summer revelry is to be expected. Holidays are to be taken; lakes are to be scouted; camping set to commence. In these long indolent days, everyone carelessly tosses their woes and worries aside. Despite this, summer has its own capricious side as well. The storms are as fierce and ill-tempered as its winter counterpart. Hail beats and batters. Rains that last for days and weeks. Winds that howl and wail without hesitation. Thunderstorms that produce tornadoes that whip and whirl, ripping up the world in its path. Droughts that deprive and scorch the world, leaving tinder and fuel to ignite and devour. Perhaps it’s a disposition found within the northern hemisphere, but there appears to be an unquestionable love affair with summer, when compared to the other seasons. With summer gone within the blink of an eye, there is apparent attempt to hold on to the few moments the season has to offer and take full advantage of them. Autumn is looked upon with begrudged resentment. As the trees are coloured in the shawl of fall, glaring glances are shot to the change. There are grumbles of resentment as summer has concluded. Autumn is only viewed as the threshold to winter. The patron of the harvest, and the red carpet to the frost bitten wolfpack that will herald from the north. On its own, autumn has no joy or love attributed to it. Despite its colourful posturing, it has little in personification because once it ends the cold sets in; the snow drapes around and the previous summer lost in the past.
It is disappointing as a Canadian to see how little the two official languages engage in dialogue with each other. English is by far the most dominate language within the country. It can be heard and seen from the east coast to the west coast and into the north. While French is limited to Quebec and those rich linguistic locales peppered outside of the province. Translations from French into English—specifically French-Canadian authors—is limited. As if the politics of linguistics being a sole division between the two. After all language and heritage influences perspective. One can only imagine the selected reading between the English language children and their French language counterparts. Young readers in the English language will be fed a diet of Beatrix Potters’ “Peter Rabbit,” & Co; “The Wind in the Willows,”; “Anne of Green Gables,”; “White Fang,”; “Sherlock Holmes.” While the French language children would have feasted on “The Little Prince,”; “Le Petit Nicolas,”; “The Three Musketeers,”; “Tin Tin,”; and Maurice Leblancs’ “Arsène Lupin.” These early reading habits certainly provide an overview of the intrinsic viewpoint of the world. Take for example the differences between Sherlock Holmes and Arsène Lupin as characters. Lupin is the archetypical gentleman thief, whose morals are in line, but whose actions are illegal though upstanding, making Lupin a debonair antihero. Whereas Sherlock Holmes is the almost fantastical forensic genius, who is called on as a consulting detective to aid law enforcement agencies in solving complex and perplexing crimes, while maintaining an adamant respect for the law, deduction, and logic. Holmes does not posses the mercurial morals of Lupin; and Lupin does not necessarily share Holmes grandiose devotion to forensic science and logical deduction. Reading initiations are from being the cornerstone testament between the dichotomy of perspectives of Canada; linguistic mother tongues, lengthy heritages, ancient histories and even different judicial processes, are but a few notions that further show the absolute difference in character between English Language Canadians and the French Language Canadians/Quebecois. Sadly, the two rarely meld well by obstinate choice. They prefer to waltz in their own linguistic company, then to converse. There is frustration on the Quebecois side, who often feel denied their unique identity by the more common tongue of English, which pollutes their linguistic autonomy. Legislative concessions have been levied to soothe these wounds and have superficially succeeded. Talks of separatism still circulate. Though any notion of an independence movement has all but dwindled to the waning flicker of a dying candle. Meanwhile the more dominate English perspective views the other with less keen eye; seeing the other language as merely priggish and petulant, making further demands to quell its threat of independence, while siphoning financial aid and support from the federal government. Identity and language politics aside; it is an absolute disappointment that a country of two languages does not translate enough within its borders, to share in a literary dialogue between the two languages and their respective perspectives. There are great translators at work within Canada seeking to bridge the gap between the two languages and identities such as the grand Sheila Fischman; there are still writers who are overlooked and under translated.
One writer Sheila Fischman has translated frequently into English is, Jacques Poulin. Previous titles translated are: “Mister Blue,” “Wild Cat,” “Spring Tides,” “Translation is a Love Affair,” “Volkswagen Blues,” “My Sister’s Blue Eyes,” and “English is Not a Magic Language.” Despite all these translations and publications into English (and three of them from the magnificent Archipelago Books), the average Canadian reader may not be aware of Poulin, despite the extensive translations available to them. However, these translations overtime become more difficult to acquire. Availability in these instances does not equate accessibly. Even with “Autumn Rounds,” it took a significant amount of time of searching and hunting in order to find the novel. The cover of course being the visually appealing aspect of the novel. Just as it was with “Wild Cat,”— “Autumn Rounds,” is graced with a stunning cover. The front a deep burgundy red, with a small window of a box in the centre looking onto a fog ridden road in an anonymous countryside, the ditches and fields have turned brown, while the trees insinuate autumn through the colour of their leaves’. 
The plot of “Autumn Rounds,” is nothing out of the ordinary for Jacques Poulin. Its riddled with his gentle laconic style. Mundane observations and daily routines of The Driver are acutely recorded. The Driver is a simple man who has converted an old milk truck into a mobile library, which is supported in its operation by the Quebec Government as a cultural initiative. One evening The Driver is stirred to the streets by a traveling troupe of performers, complete with jugglers, trapeze artist, a band and singer. From there begins a late in life road trip with the spice of forlorn romance. This late love romance rekindles The Drivers appreciation towards life. Age is an inevitability, but a horse pill to swallow, nonetheless. In ages one comes apparently self-aware how limited their life is. How age has taken worn down freedom and autonomy. It increases one’s sense of insignificance. Alienating them from their past and forecast the dreaded end. For The Driver in “Autumn Rounds,” this can all be put on hold for a brief moment, as a woman of similar age is able to renew the spark and thirst for life once again. What follows is a road trip through the Quebec Countryside—a autumn round—for both The Driver and the performance troupe. Where on puts on shows the residents; the other lends books to those communities indoctrinated into the library network, which is held together by the locales and the traveling bookmobile. There are no magnificent battles. No dramatic conflict. In lieu of anything egregiously spectacular what follows suit is nothing more than tender digression on aging, love, books, writers (specifically Hemmingway who Poulin has great admiration for) and the Quebec countryside.
“Autumn Rounds,” is a sweet novel. Its riddled with the gentle complaints of old age; the remarkable beauty of love, regardless of the time or age in which one is able to achieve it; the beauty of the Quebec Countryside; the devotion to literature, books and reading as a vocation as much as it is a pastime. “Autumn Rounds,” is not an epicist novel. It is not a novel of grand ideas or stalwart statements. It is not airy or melodramatic riddled with sentimentality. In the end all “Autumn Rounds,” amounts to is but a quaint road trip novel in those twilight golden years of one’s life. One of those ‘last journeys.’ Its poignant and sweet; difficult to find, though I am told that the amazing Archipelago Books has plans to reissue a new translation from Sheila Fischman in the future. Fingers crossed.
Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always
Stay Well Read
M. Mary

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Two Members Inducted into the Swedish Academy

Hello Gentle Reader
The Swedish Academy has announced that the remaining two seats in its rank:
Chair No. 5 – Previously held by, Göran Malmqvist
Chair No. 14 – Previosuly held by, Kristina Lugn
Will be filled by Ingrid Carlberg in Chair No. 5; Steve Sem-Sandberg in Chair No. 14.
Both Ingrid Calberg and Steve Sem-Sandberg will be inducted into the Swedish Academy on December 20, 2020, at the Swedish Academy’s annual general meeting. How this annual general meeting will be conducted is still unknown considering the challenges the pandemic causes. Both newly elected members have been met with approval; however, they have also piqued some curiosity.
Both Ingrid Calberg and Steve Sem-Sandberg are noted for their connections with newspapers; and their own careers in journalism and criticism. The Swedish Academy’s celestial halls are filled with the usual dull humdrum of humanities professions: linguists, literary theorists, writers, historians, poets, and philosophers. Only one member has a professional career outside of the literary academia, and that is Eric M. Runesson who is lawyer and judge by profession and education. Of course, other members of the Swedish Academy have contributed op-eds, criticism, and articles for news papers and magazines. Per Wästberg was a former Editor-in-Chief of Dagens Nyheter. Still they remain a distant relationship from the profession, seeking to pursue or maintain their notions of the literary away from the lesser business of journalism.
The notion of journalism as a profession, makes Ingrid Calberg a unique pick. Calberg is known as a journalist first, and a biographer second. Her career is not one riddled in the ivory tower of academia, nor has it been spent toiling away on poetry or novels. Instead Calberg has been working in the more tangible and palpable world of journalism, going so far as to teach journalism at university. Beyond her career as a journalist, Ingrid Calberg has critical books of non-fiction, as well as biographies, including gone on Alfred Nobel. The inclusion of Ingrid Calberg will be a unique choice for the Swedish Academy.
Steve Sem-Sandberg on the flipside is a traditional pick as a writer, who also happens to have written some of the most critically acclaimed novels at the turn of the century. The only objection issued by publications regarding Steve Sem-Sandberg is: what took the Swedish Academy so long to recognize him and then elect him?
Both new inductees have been humbled and honored by the decision. As long as no members resign from the academy, or none die—this will be the first time the Swedish Academy has been complete without an empty seat since the late eighties. This will mean all members of the Swedish Academy after the general meeting with the new members inducted, will be able to participate in the work of the academy.
Thank-You For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always
Stay Well Read
M. Mary

For Further Reading—

Friday, 9 October 2020

Post-Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 Thoughts


Hello Gentle Reader
Finally, after another year, and a few days that felt like they took longer to get through then normal, we reached the announcement of the Nobel Prize for Literature. This year’s laureate is the American poet Louise Glück, with the citation that reads: “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the announcement of the prize was scarcely populated by a few journalists who were properly distanced within the reception room of the Swedish Academy. There were no cheers. There was no applause. In lieu of any celebratory moments, the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Mats Malm read with steady and stoic calm the announcement of the literature laureate, and explained that due to the current global pandemic the Nobel Ceremony has been postponed, and all awarded laureates for this year will be invited and welcome to attend the ceremony next year. Afterwards, Mats Malm handed over the remaining proceedings to the Nobel Committee Chairman Anders Olsson, who first read an overview of Louis Glück’s work in Swedish, and then in English. Afterwards he took questions from the few journalists (in Swedish) and answered them (in Swedish). Both men—Mats Malm and Anders Olsson—do not have particularly dynamic public personas. Mats Malm maintains his composure but does not radiate excitement or interest in the duties; while Anders Olsson is more tepid, reading off of prescribed scripted statements, and answering questions in an equally lukewarm manner. Neither one—and I mean no offense—would be called charismatic individuals in comparison to previous Permanent Secretaries of the Swedish Academy, such as Peter Englund or the late Sara Danius. Englund for example, would read the announcement with a measured approached, and then participant in the interview with anxious excitement and even glee. Whereas Sara Danius radiated warmth and engagement with those attendance the moment she stepped forth, and gracefully engaged in questions and interviews afterwards, with noticeable enjoyment at discussing the laureate in literature. I will go so far as to stay both Mats Malm and Anders Olsson pale in comparison to Horace Engdahl, who carried himself like a literary statesman. Though controversial in his tenure for statements he made later in his tenure as Permanent Secretary, Engdhal again was able to gravitate the attention towards him and maintain the attention of all in attendance with little effort. Since Mats Malm took the position of Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, the conventional formalities of the position have been shared so far with the Chairman of the Nobel Committee, Anders Olsson. Last years announcement, saw Mats Malm talk from the podium for a few moments, announcing the Nobel Laureates for 2018 (retroactively) and 2019, before excusing himself and giving the floor to Anders Olsson and Per Wästberg, along with the external members of the enlarged Nobel Committee. These brief moments and encounters with Mats Malm have therefore been limited, and do not provide dynamic portrait of the public facing member of the Swedish Academy. Perhaps in the coming years the Permanent Secretaries position as the sole public coordinator and public relations personnel of the Swedish Academy will be returned in full, and no longer shared. This will allow a better assessment of Mats Malm and offer an inclination as to what kind of Permanent Secretary he is. Though on both occasions, its clear Mats Malm is not the most extrovertedly engaging man. At best he exhumes a slight awkwardness in his deliveries; at worst he portrays himself as standoffish to the point of glacial indifference. Perhaps he’s just shy and he mitigates it with a stoic demeanor. It would be more adorable if he blushed slightly now and then and presented an awkward smile. In such event, one might even go so far to say his cheeks would be pinchable. 
As for the Nobel Laureate in Literature for this year, my initial reaction and thoughts were muted. This could be partially because neither Mats Malm nor Anders Olsson would be considered crowd warmers; but it was also a slight sense of disappointment that it went to another English language writer. After coffee and an early morning nap, I was able to digest the news with a more reasonable constitution. One not clouded with my own petulant demands, whims, or desires—though let’s be frank, the Swedish Academy should make a better effort to meet them. Sarcasm aside now, I took the opportunity to read the articles floating around the internet by journalists and critics; forum posts by adamant readers and Nobel speculators; and found a common trend. Beyond the bleary-eyed weariness of the early morning hours (in some cases) there was a generally positive response. This may be due to Glück being an English language writer, who carries the scent of familiarity. But the praise goes beyond conventional tributes, relayed in the usual boilerplate fashion. No, in lieu of preconceived praise lies a genuine endearment to the poet and her work. Writing for The Guardian poet Fiona Sampson heaps odes of admiration on Louis Glück. Sampson traces the evolution of Glück’s themes from her initial debut through to her sophomore breakthrough, which initially focused on familiar ties, relationships, and domestic observations, to her later works which incorporate myth and philosophical preoccupations that has characterized her recent publications. While reading Sampson’s article, it becomes clear that one particular facet that remains potently consistent despite the gradual fermentation and maturation of themes and perspective is that Louis Glück retains a crystalline poetic voice, one that is written in clear, minimal, and austere language (to quote the Swedish Academy’s citation). There is no pomp, pretense, or sentimentality in her work. Of course, Glück keeps a keen attention to detail to the mundane and its complexities, and uses these conundrums to provide greater insight to the shared universal questions each individual experiences when they question notions of existential meaning, mortality, as well as tenacity of the human spirit to overcome trauma and adversity, while providing a remedial and renewed appreciation towards life and the act of living.
Rather nebulous praise for a poet who is also called earthbound, unpretentious, and modest in approach. Perhaps one of the most endearing qualities of Glück’s poetry is its otherwise clear and concise language. Glück completely abandons pretense and poetic purple sentimentality to etch on the crystal her severe and authentic poetry. There are no airy dandelion seeds drifting in the green spring breeze, where the poet circles and cycles around the point while maintaining an elusive approach to getting to the heart of the matter. There is no preference to the roundabout nature of innuendos to insinuate at the greater ieda. There are no cheap sentiments. The are no wisecracks. None of it. What remains is the sober, solemn, unillusioned perspective is only betrayed by the rejoice of life renewed.
Sometimes writers are best left alone. At least that appears to be the way for Louis Glück. Mats Malm had mentioned that he gotten in touch with the poet and said that the news appears to have been taken rather well—or something along those lines. Following suit, it could be seen why the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy showed apprehension in providing a detailed response to how Glück has taken the news. There is agitation, irritation, and annoyed exhaustion. The poet openly admitted that when she received the news with suspicion, and she was not prepared to receive it. Following suit was an onslaught of journalists and reporters who have called her home requesting interviews, request for comments, entreating the poet for any word on the matter. If the phone is not ringing with a journalist on the other end, its ringing with congratulations from friends. When the Nobel Prize website phoned with a request for an interview, Louis Glück showcased an otherwise embittered resentment at once again being interrupted. Her responses were curt, acerbic, and to the point. Perhaps her austere poetic language is not just limited to her poetry but is a matter of her character. She offered the Nobel Prize websites Adam Smith two minutes to talk, where she answered his questions as fast as she could. She looked at the prize money with prudent and pragmatic potential in a fiscally responsible matter. In the end she asked if their two minutes were up and that was that. I didn’t find Glück’s response all that gracious. Instead it pulsed with irritation disguising itself as indifference. In other videos posted online she is visibly annoyed with the attention being showered on her by journalists outside of her home. She wasn’t as acerbically disagreeable as Doris Lessing was in 2007; but she appeared apathetic to the point of annoyed by the whole brouhaha. To be fair it is understandable that one may be slightly ornery when their entire daily life has suddenly been usurped. Then again other laureates both in literature and other categories have shown greater gratitude towards receiving the news. Her temperament may change in the coming weeks. Her engagement with the award may be warmer when she delivers her Nobel Lecture electronically to the Swedish Academy, and then its all over.
I won’t lie Gentle Reader, when I initially heard the news that Louis Glück won the Nobel Prize for Literature I was not immediately impressed. I was not outraged either. Still it struck me as disappointing in the moment. Once again, another English language writer had received the prize, and what a shock it seemed? They had awarded two English language laureates in 2016 and 2017. Of course, Anders Olsson had stated that the Nobel Committee for Literature was taking a more global approach to the award, but one begins to question if this global approach is just limited between Europe and the United States of America. I highly doubt it; yet one can’t help but wonder at times. Before the award Gentle Reader, I had no interest in Louis Glück, and maintain an otherwise indifferent attitude towards her work. Though at least she appears to be a full-fledged Nobel Laurate in her own right, one that does not carry the nauseous stench of compromise like Kazuo Ishiguro. There can be no denial that as a poet, Louis Glück has maintained a strict adherence to her personal craft and form. She has refused hyphened titles and associations with movements, or fashionable thoughts of the era. She is not a confessional poet, she is not a feminist poet, she is not a nature poet, she is not a classicist’s poet. What Louis Glück is, is simply: a poet. This does recall that perhaps in the mere twilight days leading up to the announcement that the journalists and critics who had theorized that the Swedish Academy would seek to award a ‘safe writer,’ may have been right.  Glück would not be described as a political or dissident poet. She has no political vocations or allegiances that have been publicly aired. She is not a poet of social causes either. She does not wield the pen with social acumen in mind. She does not seek to rectify or expose injustices, and in turn inspire social or political change through this. No instead Glück is devoted to the intrapersonal poetic form which transpires into interpersonal communication with her readers. Glück is only interested in poetry when it comes to her literary pursuits. Everything else is either secondary or peripheral. With the current state of the world, it is easy to concede that yes, Louis Glück is a safe choice; one that is based around literary preoccupation solely. This also being said, Louis Glück is also a surprise on a couple of different levels. After reviewing the previous Nobel Laureates in Literature, it is apparent that Louis Glück is the first female English language laureate whose main literary output is poetry, followed by two collections of essays. In other words: Louise Glück is the first Female English Language Poet, to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Not a bad accolade for the poet.
Though Louise Glück has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and my initial feelings and thoughts were muted, tepid, and indifferent—and persist in that manner—I will concede that I am happy to see that readers, journalists and the public respond with warming welcomes to the award. I have had the opportunity to read a few of Glück’s poems online, and found the experience hit and miss. My favourite poem is “Snowdrops,” from the collection, “The Wild Iris.” It’s a remarkable little poem, which takes the voice of the snowdrop flower and presents its own relief and apprehension at life returning as winter recedes. Other poems have been as revelatory. I do appreciate, Glück paired down and plain diction in her work. Its pleasant that a poet appreciates poetry without ostentatious ornamentation. Louise Glück is by no means on par or have any poetic relation to Wisława Szymborska. I maintain that Szymborska is by all accounts the superior poet; though the two have their own strengths. I appreciate that Wisława Szymborska was more engaged in otherwise universal themes, which she wrote about with gentle candor, and sly ironic twists. From what I am currently able to gather about Louise Glück is she’s more solemn and somber, then Szymborska; where one used irony and paradox as humour, the other perpetrates bitter and cutting acerbity. Where Szymborska’s hand is light and reserved from making any immediate assertion of herself in the poem; Glück has chisel in hand and carves out her poetry with her persona stitched within. In time, I may give Louise Glück an opportunity. I am by no means a great lover of poetry, but her essay collections have piqued my interest. Final thoughts on the matter: I had my own preferences for a poet to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, both personal tastes, but also certain poets whose contributions to poetry have been far reaching and more influential. Secretly, I harbored further desire in seeing Anne Carson take the award as well. I enjoy Carson’s chimeric approach to poetry, as well as being the most experimental poet currently at work in the English language. Carson’s win would have been well deserved and earned. Louise Glück, however is a poet within her own right. the award does not appear to be a compromise, but a thoughtful retrospect of the poet, and her decades of work behind her.
Congratulations are still in order to Louis Glück. The Nobel Prize for Literature, I am sure is well deserved. Hopefully life will get back to some semblance of normal for her, while I also hope that she will be able to head to Stockholm next year to receive the award in person and experience the rich pageantry that is the Nobel Prize Ceremony.
Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always
Stay Well Read
M. Mary

Thursday, 8 October 2020

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2020


Hello Gentle Reader, 

The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the American Poet Louise Gluck with the following citation:
“for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”
Congratulations to Louise Gluck.
Thank-you for Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always
Stay Well Read
M. Mary

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Final Thoughts on the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020

Hello Gentle Reader,
The year 2020 has been quite a year, complete with a global pandemic that has all but shut down the world killed hundreds of thousands people; and destroyed the economies of many nations; all the while bringing racial and social tensions to the forefront that demand change, reconciliation, and reforms. Throughout 2020 the conversations of the world have become reduced only a few topics: the pandemic, riots, and economics. Of course, when it comes to these topics none of us who casually discuss them would come close to being called a expert. We are not epidemiologists, social workers, or economists. Yet we discuss these events with critical scrutiny, administering judgement ease, and discuss the options to get the economy moving again. There is no denying that since the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, everyone has come to realize how little meaning their life had without the distractions of travel, or usual social activities such as theatres, or dining out at restaurants, or participating in alcohol induced revelry; it seems we’ve all come to the realization of what our life is reduced to, when all leisure measures have been removed. Surprisingly this is not discussed as openly. As if this new reality has forced us to face our almost existential reality of little our life amounts to when all social disruptions have been removed. This ennui seeps throughout our lives now. Everyday riddled with new routines. The news a continual beacon of misery, repeating without reprieve what constitutes: ‘The New Reality.’ This same malaise apparently has seeped into the Nobel Prize for Literature Speculation as well, the entire atmosphere regarding the prize, more lukewarm.
This year the betting sites such as Ladbrokes and NicerOdds, have only recently released their list of potential possibilities, and the list is extraordinarily small initially; but have begun to grow over the past few days. Common names find their seats on their list, with no writer standing out of another—with the expectation of Amos Oz, who is listed, but is unable to be considered the prize, as he died in two-thousand and eighteen. As for the prize itself, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the ceremony and banquet have been cancelled. This leaves one to suspect that all ceremonious celebrations and events will be moved to virtual platforms. How disappointing for the yet to be named Nobel Laureates in their respective fields. The Nobel Prize Ceremony is one of the few events on the world stage with pomp and pageantry, glitz and glamour, where scientists and writers—intellectuals—are celebrated for their achievements, and their life’s work. Such events have become commonly reserved for more populist contests, for more disinteresting mediums, such as music, television, or film. Mediums that do not share the same higher pursuits of human achievement like literature or the sciences.
Speculation this year as previously mentioned remains subdued. The usual suspects are being tossed around as potential possibilities. The same old perennial writers, who must be as tired as the rest of us, seeing their names repeatedly mentioned in contestation for one of the most secretive contests in the literary world. There has also been concern with the continual rise of social justice perspectives, and its adamant ideologues, whose keystrokes are wielded in the same vein as one may wield a sword; where they denounce, criticize, ostracize, and attack all contrary opinions that are contrary to their own. Their fevered adherence to their ideological prescriptions, as well as their fanatic devotion in inoculating others to their newfound awaken perspective. This has caused some concern amongst speculators that the Swedish Academy itself, may buckle under the pressure for diversity, and awarding writers to meet social, cultural, and diversification quota; rather then make judgement based on literary merit, and treating all other sociopolitical concerns as secondary, and better yet peripheral.
The Swedish Academy has been staunch defender of its independence and has rebuked attempts of external influence to undermine its agency and autonomy as an awarding institution. The Swedish Academy has disregarded accusations of political agendas, often showcasing a rather mercurial approach when it comes to writers they award, and their own political predilections and perspectives—for example Herta Müller or Svetlana Alexievich versus Peter Handke or Mo Yan. In other situations, there Nobel Laureates are completely apolitical, disinterested with the dirty business, such as: Alice Munro or Tomas Tranströmer. There Nobel Laureates can often be polite dignitaries of high literary pursuits: Wisława Szymborska, Patrick Modiano, and Olga Tokarczuk. While on the hand they could be incendiary provocateurs of enfant terrible heights, such as: Camilo Jose Cela, Elfriede Jelinek, and once again Peter Handke. It is doubtful that the Swedish Academy would take a reading of the current social barometer and decide based on it. Rather they’ll maintain their own agency free of the concerns and influences of otherwise external influences and do what the Swedish Academy believes is best. Which is always a relief, knowing that the Swedish Academy retains its own sense objectives free from the interloping concerns who do not peruse the higher qualities of literature.
With the world under quarantine house arrest; debating about the effective measures masks have to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as their side effect of emasculating men; or being concerned about the rising rampant national debts, coupled with the waves of unemployment; then of course there is the continual clashes of social groups, and riots—everywhere riots. With the whole world gone to hell in a handbasket, there is certainly enough distractions to keep everyone from speculating and wondering about who will receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Such speculation is a necessary distraction when the world is influx of tearing itself apart. Which is in complete contrast to the world months prior, at the onslaught of the virus and the quarantine measures being enacted by governments. People had been reduced to living mannequins, mere people in the windows, who looked beyond their pane at a world at once mundane and foreign. Now they are no longer framed within those glass panes, which only reflect violence—be it police or otherwise—riots, fires, and another debacle fumbling into another catastrophe.
The Nobel Prize’s social media arm has also been lacking in trying to get the speculation heated and curiously provoking the frenzy to theorize potential Nobel Laureates in Literature. In years past they’ve released snapshots, of previous Nobel Laureates, with a quote form their work, or a general quote the author had stated prior.
The current Social Media Posts pertaining to the Literature Prize have been the following of record from September, from the most recent to the earliest documented post in the month.
September 27th:
A post on Grazia Deledda:
“Deledda was born on this day in 1871 in the village of Nuoro on the island of Sardinia, Italy. She had six siblings and her father worked the family's land. Friends used to gather in the family's kitchen and share their stories, which shy little Grazia absorbed. She attended school for just four years, which was considered sufficient for a girl, but also received private lessons in Italian. Her teacher encouraged her to submit her writing to a newspaper and, at age 13, her first story was published.
Deledda's childhood was shaped by old traditions with deep historical roots and the unhappy fates of her family members imbued her with a strong belief in destiny. Themes like uncontrollable forces, moral dilemmas, passion, and human weakness recur in her stories.
Deledda was awarded the 1926 Nobel Prize in Literature "for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general."
Read more about this extraordinary laureate on”
September 25th:
“Take a look at some of the literary masterpieces written by previous Literature Laureates - do you have a favourite Literature Laureate so far?
Stay tuned to find out which author(s) will be awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature.”
Listing in a photo:
Olga Tokarczuk: “Flights,”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: “One Hundred Years of Solitude,”
Ernest Hemingway: “The Old Man and The Sea,”
Nadine Gordimer: “The Conservationist,”
William Golding: “Lord of the Flies,”
Alice Munro: “Dear Life,”
Toni Morison: “Beloved,”
Rabindranath Tagore: “Gitanjali,”
September 25th:
William Faulkner Quote: “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion.”
September 22nd:
Olga Tokarczuk: “’There was suspicion that it was some kind of prank!”
Last year when Mats Malm, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, tried calling Literature Laureate Olga Tokarczuk, just before the announcement of her Nobel Prize, he was met with some suspicion.
“I didn’t have a direct number so I tried translators, publishers and eventually got through, but obviously not without proving who I was.”
He finally reached her in her car, in the middle of a book tour in Germany: “She was quite shocked and thrilled. I gave her a few minutes and then I called back so she could find a parking space to think about things. Then we spoke for a while more, and then it was time for the announcement.”
“I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to get hold of her, but I was also very much looking forward to talking to her. She’s been a wonderful acquaintance only through the books so far. I’m really happy to be able to get to know her better and have her here in Stockholm.”
Which writer(s) will the Swedish Academy try to get a hold of this year? Stay tuned for 8 October when the 2020 Literature Laureate(s) will be revealed.”
September 19th:
“Remembering William Golding, born September 19th in 1911] followed by a quote: “Words may, through the devotion, the skill, the passion and the luck of writers prove to be the most powerful thing in the world.”
September 17th:
Another William Golding post:
“Have you read 'Lord of the Flies'? The novel, written by William Golding, was first published #OnThisDay in 1954.
Golding was awarded the #NobelPrize in Literature in 1983 "for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today."
Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911 and was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Apart from writing, his occupations included being a schoolmaster, a lecturer, an actor, a sailor and a musician. His father was a schoolmaster and his mother was a suffragette.
He was brought up to be a scientist, but revolted. After two years at Oxford he read English literature instead and published a volume of poems in 1935. He taught at Bishop Wordsworth's School, Salisbury before joining the Royal Navy in 1940 and spending six years afloat, except for seven months in New York and six months helping Lord Cherwell at the Naval Research Establishment. He saw action against battleships (at the sinking of the Bismarck), submarines and aircraft. Golding finished as Lieutenant in command of a rocket ship. He was present off the French coast for the D-Day invasion, and later at the island of Walcheren. After the war he returned to teaching, and began to write again. 'Lord of the Flies', his first novel, was published in 1954.”
September 17th:
A Doris Lessing post:
“’Oh, Christ!”
“That was Doris Lessing's first response after hearing that she was awarded the 2007 #NobelPrize in Literature. Lessing heard the news from a Reuters correspondent after arriving in a cab at her home in London, UK.
Which writer(s) will be awarded the 2020 Literature Prize?”
September 10th:
An Alice Munro post:
“Imagine having a voicemail from the Nobel committee informing you that you have been awarded the Nobel Prize? A voicemail forever saved in your telephone. 
That is what happened to the master of the contemporary short story, Alice Munro. On 10 October 2013, the Swedish Academy couldn't get a hold of the newly awarded Literature Laureate. After several attempts, the academy finally left Munro a voicemail informing her about the news.
Who will the Swedish Academy be calling on 8 October this year? Join us to hear the news first.”
It should be noted that the social media arm of the Nobel Prizes, are managed and operated by the Nobel Foundation, not to the awarding institutions, such as the Swedish Academy. Therefore, these posts are not necessarily secret divination tea leaves in order to gauge or predict current possibilities of Nobel Laureates. Though they can provide the inspiring provocations for further or continued speculation. Reviewing the posts throughout September, I noticed quite early on the continual fixation on English language writers, such as William Golding (on countless occasions), Doris Lessing, William Faulkner and Alice Munro. My first gut reaction to this the usual thought that its going to yet another English language writer. One of those highly contested writers, who are always speculated about, and of course when it happens rather then the media stating: “who?” they’ll cry out with: “Finally!” because this particular English language writer—be it Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, or Margaret Atwood—has finally got that gold stamp of approval, the highest accolade that literature has to offer. Yet, it also suggested Anne Carson; that bewitching writer who defies poetry with her unapologetic chimeric creations that usurp the poetic establishment, while providing greater context for the form that is both academically infused, and experimentally whimsical all the same.
It is also curious to note that the social media posts appear selective, spotlighting either popular or recognizable laureates, over lesser known Laureates, or more controversial laureates. I can’t think of any social media posts that look back on Camilo Jose Cela, Elfriede Jelinek, Dario Fo and Jaroslav Seifert. Instead the social media campaign has mentioned writers beyond the aforementioned: Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ernest Hemmingway, and Olga Tokarczuk. The most obscure writer mentioned is Rabindranath Tagore; though over the years he has been continually discussed or mentioned. To see, Hemmingway and Golding mentioned is enough to make the stomach roll. I don’t like Hemmingway as a writer. He’s lack luster, blunt, and dated; though his life is now a literary legendary. Whereas I find William Golding’s equally lacking in any poetic charm and riddled with an under current of depravity. I can still recall the force feeding of “The Lord of the Flies,” and “Old Man and The Sea,” from my early education, and refuse to ever have my reading requirements dictated to me again.
The post on Grazia Deledda is interesting. She falls into the nebulous category of writers, who are neither known any more, nor have little to no relevance; lost to the abyss of history. She was not a controversial laureate by any means, though apparently not a memorable one either. Much like Sigrid Undset, Grazia Deledda collects dust in the back halls, where she is all but forgotten. Though she is joined there by the likes of fellow laureates: Roger Martin du Gard, Frans Eemil Sillanpää, and Saint-John Perse. While less then deserving writers such as John Steinbeck persist. At least I can always count my own fortune that Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” or “The Grapes of Wrath,” where never ground up and funneled down my throat during my early education. Small miracles indeed.
This year is also the final year that the Swedish Academy will allow a group external members to work within its ranks. After this year, Rebecka Kärde, Mikaela Blomqvist, and Henrik Petersen will depart from the Swedish Academy, their contributions fulfilled under their two-year stipend agreement. Of course, the Swedish Academy did not just come to this notion on its own. Rather it was a caveat set forth by the Nobel Foundation in order for the Swedish Academy to continue to announce and award the Nobel Prize for Literature. The famously clandestine eighteen-member academy swallowed the horse pill along with its pride and has managed to due reasonably well, only loosing two of the five external members in the process. Both Gun-Britt Sundström and Kristoffer Leandoer emancipated themselves from their appointments, citing inconsolable differences.
With their tenure now ending there appears to be an under current of a battle in perspective between the Swedish Academy and the Nobel Foundation. The Nobel Foundation has stated that it would prefer and even rationalizes that the external members should be kept on and consulted with, as other awarding intuitions do. On the contrary the Swedish Academy has been polite in its praise of the external members assistance but is ready to help them pack their backs and see them out the door. Whether or not the external members had much to any sway within the gilded halls of the Swedish Academy is unknown. The academy itself, however, is also not at full capacity, two of its chairs remain vacant: Chair No. 5 and Chair No. 14; following the deaths of Göran Malmqvist and Kristina Lugn. What the future holds for the Swedish Academy is still unknown. As for Rebecka Kärde, Mikaela Blomqvist, and Henrik Petersen this could be a trail run for them, as they too may be officially appointed to the Swedish Academy at later dates, as they are relatively young—and in the case Kärde and Blomqvist, quite young.
As for the Nobel Prize for Literature itself, its less than a week until the winner is announced. A few of the social media posts have made insinuations of a joint award which is a rarity. The last time the Nobel Prize for Literature was shared between two writers as in 1974, between the Swedish writers and academy members: Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson, which erupted into controversy. Last year two laurates were announced, but the prize was not explicitly shared. Olga Tokarczuk was retroactively announced and awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in two-thousand and eighteen, as the prize was previously postponed due to the scandal surrounding its lack of internal governance. While Peter Handke was the official Nobel Laureate in Literature for two-thousand and nineteen.
With Nobel Week set to begin Monday, and less then a week until the Nobel Prize for Literature is announced, there is still some otherwise muted curiosity as to who will win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Perhaps this is the first time in many years, that the Nobel Prize for Literature is explicitly secretive, without the leaks by the former member of Katarina Frostenson to her husband Jean-Claude Arnault. There have been a few grumbles around the world, about how the Nobel Prize for Literature will be awarded to some writer they have never heard of, who they’ve never read, and in typical petulant fashion have no interest in reading. I take a contrary perspective to this and hope for a truly surpassing and unique writer to receive the prize. Not one that is mediocre or compromising, such as Kazuo Ishiguro; who is one of those good writers but would not be considered memorably great. His oeuvre is rather uneven and slim, with but a few remarkable novels to his name, with others laying in the background. There was nothing strikingly unique about Kazuo Ishiguro’s writing or thematic occupations. Memory and one’s relation to history, coupled with understated and restrained prose, appeared no different than many other English language writer’s contemporary with Ishiguro.
With that being said, if I were to look over my speculative list and decide to attempt to name the writes, I’d like to choose to receive the award, I’d find it very difficult and complicated. I enjoy most of the writes listed on my Nobel Speculation List, in some form or another. Though truth be told, there are some writers who are more enjoyed or interested in then others. However, in typical capricious fashion I fall in and out with these thoughts with mercurial speed. I never wish to become overtly invested in one over another, out of some misplaced superstitious form of guilt. As if asking a parent to decide who their favourite child is, though more candid parents answer the question without hesitation. Due to the unique circumstances of last year announcing two winners, one for the calendar year, and the other retroactively; I had made a list of three columns based around my own personal favorites of the writers I had listed in my speculation list, in a series of three columns with external factor shaping how each column was directed: one was purely female; another was a hybrid of half female writers and half male writers; and the final one was only male writers. The exercise proved to be difficult after it was completed, with immediate thoughts about other writers not included on the list. Still it’s not going to stop me from giving this another attempt, which will end in regret hours later.
The following are three lists of writers from the previous speculation list, who I’d like to see receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Following I provide a selective and short rationale for some of the writers listed. I’d like to note these three short lists of eight are based on personal preference, not necessarily any potential greater or otherwise that would seem them to be likely candidates to receive the prize.
Doris Kareva                           Yoko Tawada                          Magdalena Tulli
Annie Ernaux                          Gyrðir Elíasson                       Mircea Cărtărescu
Yoko Ogawa                           Can Xue                                  Nancy Morejón
Olga Sedakova                        Lyudmila Petrushevskaya       László Krasznahorkai
Fleur Jaeggy                            Jon Fosse                                Jaan Kaplinski
Sirkka Turkka                          Ibrahim Al-Koni                    Wang Xiaoni
Kim Hyesoon                          José Eduardo Agualusa          Rodrigo Rey Rosa
Duong Thu Huong                  Durs Grünbein                        Elena Poniatowska
There are three lists of eight writers for each column, for a grand total of twenty-four writers. it was a conscious thought not to include any duplicate or repeat writer on any of the lists. They are listed and organized in no particular order or fashion. Each list is compromised of writers who are viewed with personal interest or favour over other writers who have listed on the larger and more comprehensive speculation list. Though as previously noted, this will of course change once again the coming days, or even hours. My interest and fascination with the writer’s ebbs and flows like fickle tides, at the mercy of an intoxicated tyrannical moon.  
I made a slight conscious effort to include poets on these lists, at least the ones I find interesting in some way or another, despite not being a reader of poetry myself; though a few poets and their poems are admirable, nonetheless.
My three main poet frontrunners are: Doris Kareva, Sirkka Turkka, and Kim Hyesoon. Doris Kareva interests me in part because of where she heralds from, that North-Eastern country of Estonia, which is sadly changing sides throughout history, but has finally matured and come into its own after liberation from the former Soviet Union. Doris Kareva remains interesting because she is not a particularly politically oriented poet; though in her youth she was removed form university due to her dissidence, though she graduated remotely with a degree in philology. Her poetry is expertly refined, to the point of being measured and control to the point of brevity. These few lined poems become appear as fragile and clear as crystal but resound with crystalline harmony that give voice to the individual soul, while echoing into the universe at large. Doris Kareva, is the poet in grace, who abandons the pretense, the patronization, and the pontification of the poets of the past, in favour of something more approachability, grace, and duplicitous simplicity betraying the echoing resonance of a cosmic ballet dancing within in harmonic elegance, embodying virtuosic grace of the poet. I have nothing but endearing admiration for Sirkka Turkka. The Finnish poet writes with again simplicity, clarity, and a forthright form of expression. Her work is not some esoteric correspondence of air. Her poems are cryptographs, which require a secret key in order to decipher them, navigate through them, and ultimately comprehend them.
Annie Ernaux is gaining recognition outside of France, where she has been a powerful literary, cultural, social, and academic voice within France. Her work at face value appears to be autobiographically oriented, which can induce apprehension and annoyance.  Thankfully Annie Ernaux is not interested in dredging up cheap trivialities, unfortunate events, or otherwise private pornographic fantasies, and calling it literature. No. Thankfully, Ernaux probes the personal in relation to the social and the macro, taking a sociological approach and critical analysis of the private and the social realities, to provide an examination of societal needs, individual rights, and what means to be human. Ernaux is by far one of the great writers of French literature, showcasing how memoir and autobiographical work, can provide ruminations on the changing societal perspective, social attitudes, and historical movements which progressed them forward. Annie Eranux envisions both sociologically and historically the progress of society and the individual through history, with an otherwise personal perspective.
Gyrðir Elíasson has only one book translated into English, “Stone Trees.” A slim collection of his otherwise impressionistic stories. Elíasson has a poet’s eye—and he is an accomplished poet—but its his prose which has gathered him great acclaim. Elíasson stories are explicitly short, but riddled with impressionistic images that haunt further off of the page. His characters are rarely named, and their landscapes are anonymous, taking place within nebulous dreamscapes of anywhere. Its this brevity and condensed narrative that makes Elíasson so endearing. His work is placeless (for the most part) and is not preoccupied initially with narrative or form; but the impressions one gains from life, the enlightening and revelatory moments of memory, dreams, and experiences, that inspire and ripple well beyond their initial action or inaction. If Halldor Laxness is the modern Icelandic epicist, Gyrðir Elíasson is the impressionist of the interior.
Though I have yet to read Can Xue and she remains continually on my list of writers to read; she is a fascinating being, one devoted explicitly to her work, her own form, her own style, and her own surreal and challenging voice. Despite Chinese critics demeaning her and devaluating her as trivial, insane, or lacking any pursuits in serious literary communication; Can Xue remains one of the most experimental and boldest writers at work today. Her defiance against the Communist ideological requirements and the preferred literary prescription in narrative, has made her one of the most innovative writers at work, where she has found a cult following, and wide readership well beyond the borders of mainland China, and this should not be overlooked.
Ibrahim Al-Koni is another writer who has often overlooked, but whose contribution to Arabic language literature transcends his nomadic and desert upbringing, which has provided him an otherwise mystical and fabulist perspective in prose. Despite having numerous novels translated into English, and even highly regarded by reviewers; Ibrahim Al-Koni has received no international recognition or accolade, beyond a nod from the Booker International Prize in 2016. Recongition then is far overdue for one of the most important writers in the Arabic language, whose influence on contemporary Arabic language literature is as considerable as Naguib Mahfouz, both now rival masters of form, narrative, and language in their respective rights.
The chances of another Polish writer receiving the award so close to Olga Tokarczuk’s win seems unlikely; but one cannot deny that Magdalena Tulli is one of the most unique voices writing in Polish. Her novel “Dreams & Stones,” still causes debate between critics and readers alike regarding the classification of the work be it prose poem or novel. Tulli herself has stated it’s a novel, while her translator thought of it more as a prose poem. Either way Tulli’s debut became the cornerstone of her literary output, the postmodern meta-narrative that is infused with the richest and most complex language that is a feast to the eyes. Her worlds are flimsy, built on spare parts, and are often incomplete. They provide silhouettes, uniforms, and enough illusion to set the scene and give way to character. What more is needed? From there Tulli is able to systematically deconstruct the literary with psychoanalysts penetrating gaze, reducing everything to its most artificial pretense.
Perhaps the father of contemporary Romanian literature, Mircea Cărtărescu is by far one of the most recognizable, well-known, and acclaimed writers heralding from Romania. One does not need to look far to find a world saturated in the incomprehensible and the surreal. Cărtărescu’s “Blinding: The Left Wing,” of his three-volume novel “Orbitor,” is riddled with the poetic cadence; lush photographic descriptions saturate the pages of the novel, and the slowly grow increasingly more surreal, stranger, more dreamlike. Reality resides on sifting sands, continually being lost and recovered throughout the course of the novel. Experiences and memory are inherited as they are created. The narrator is infused with a double helix of contrary endowments and traits from his both of his parents. Showcasing that the individual transforms through repeat metaphorizes, rather then remains transfixed as a being. Despite little translation of his other work in the English language, Mircea Cărtărescu is a powerhouse in contemporary Romanian literature; whose dedication to form, and the higher pursuits of literary meaning cannot be overlooked or denied.
It is my understanding that Elena Poniatowska is a polarizing figure within the Mexican literary scene. I am not in the possession of all the facts to know why, Elena Poniatowska is viewed in a dichotomous manner within the Mexican literary scene; but I do know she is highly respected and regarded within the Spanish language literary scene, receiving the Cervantes Prize among other honours. If social consciousness is an aspect in which the Swedish Academy wishes to review alongside literary merit, Poniatowska meets that requirement. Her work, be it reportage, journalism, fiction, documentary, or essay have their roots in tracing the working struggles of the Mexican people. Her work is not entirely sure of itself in the English language; as if the question of who Elena Poniatowska is, is still undecided. Is she a journalist, essayist, or a fiction writer? Perhaps it’s this complete lack of identifiable literary tracer that makes more curious about the writer. But if Elena Poniatowska is merely a commentator and reporter of the trials and tribulations of the unfortunate social situation within Mexico, this may play against her; as the Swedish Academy previously awarded the Belarusian reporter and documentary journalist Svetlana Alexievich for this form of literary output.
Nobel Week is just around the corner Gentle Reader. It is set to kick off on Monday. As we move down the week from Monday into Wednesday, though those pesky science prizes, we will finally receive the news of who the Swedish Academy has deemed the suitable Nobel Laureate in Literature for two-thousand and twenty, and will kick off a new decade. Here's hoping speculation and buzz around the award will increase as the date nears. It would also be wise to note on the other awarding institutions will go around in announcing their laureates. These new platforms, be it digital or distanced, will provide a precedence and precognitive understanding of what will await us on Thursday.   
Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always
Stay Well Read
M. Mary


Post Script Edit 

Hello Gentle Reader,
With only one more day and one more prize to go (October 7th, Chemistry) before the Nobel Prize for Literature is announced, media speculation has picked up indeed. The Guardian for example, is predicting a safe winner this year rather then another controversial award, considering that the Swedish Academy in the previous years has been embroiled in controversy. First in 2018, when the prize was postponed, and again in 2019 when Peter Handke was announced as the Laureate.
To its credit though, the Swedish Academy did choose a safe winner retroactively for 2018: Olga Tokarczuk, who was sadly overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Peter Handke. Journalists, speculators, and theorists are gambling that the Swedish Academy will circumvent further controversy by going for a ‘Safe,’ choice for this years Literature Laureate. The kind of Laureate who will not bring attention to themselves by their unfashionable political opinions; or have been a speculated contender for years, while also having a strong presence or renown in the English language; or whose political views could be considered agreeable with the current constitution of the current publics mindset.
I find this thought process difficult. The Swedish Academy as aforementioned has relished in its own agency, its own autonomy free from intrusion of third-party inflections. The safe bets for this year as proposed across the board are:
Anne Carson
Jamaica Kincaid
Maryse Condé
Margaret Atwood
Haruki Murakami
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
One could sit here and argue for and against in all cases until they are blue in their face. I’d theorize of this who has the best chance is most likely Anne Carson. Then again, I could be wrong, which is known to happen on numerous occasions.
Alex Shepherd of The New Republic has published an equally tongue and check article, whereby he attempts to predict who will win the Nobel Prize for Literature and who won’t; but like me, Alex is also known to make mistakes, when we both stated with equal adamant that a certain singer would not win the award, and they went on to win the award.
For now, though Gentle Reader I’ll leave you a link to the article mentioned above. As the day inch closer, second by second, we will finally come to learn who will win the Nobel Prize for Literature. But if you want my honest opinion, about whether or not the laureate will be considered controversial or not, or publicly acceptable enough I’ll state this in strong language:
The Swedish Academy does not give two royal fucks either way. To quote Ander Olsson: “it is literary merit first.” Everything else is just secondary.