Just recently Bob Dylan finally accepted his Nobel Prize in Literature after months of speculation surrounding the awarding of the award and whether he’d formally accept.
This just means another year has passed in which great authors are looked over for this prize. Literary prizes may or may not be as important as they once were, but that doesn’t meant there aren’t authors worthy of receiving them.
My first foray into the world of Toni Morrison is probably her most known work, Beloved.
The book tells the story of the African-American experience both during and immediately after the end of slavery. It’s fictional, but just like in Things Fall Apart this story could have been written about a real family or group of slaves because it describes events and circumstances we are all aware of. So take a few minutes to see what I thought of this timeless classic and let me know what you thought!
The book satisfied the requirement to read a book written by a woman for my 2017 Reading Challenge and is also one of Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read. This was the fourth book I’ve read from my challenge.
Remember just last week when I told you that Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature? Turns out there was some monkey business going on.
The Nobel Committee, as one would expect, immediately made attempts to get in contact with the newest laureate. But for nearly a week Bob Dylan would not return calls or acknowledge the award. Why? Why would someone do that? The Nobel Committee shouldn’t have to hire bounty hunters and private investigators to make sure a laureate is alive and well.
I still say he shouldn’t have been under consideration. His actions over the last week do nothing to change that.
I see no reason to sugarcoat the fact that I hate this.
Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature yesterday. The committee got it wrong. One can list all of his accomplishments but it wouldn’t change that he shouldn’t have even been considered for the award. There are music awards. There are songwriting awards. There are sales awards and records. So why are we giving this man a literary award!?
What really irks me is that any knowledgeable reader could list quite a few authors who are plenty deserving of this award. But I won’t do that. There’s no point. I’ll only list one. Haruki Murakami. The list starts and ends with him. His work doesn’t need me to defend it because it stands well enough on its own merit.
So now we have a songwriter/musician with a Nobel Prize in Literature but one of the most influential and revered authors of the 20th century still doesn’t. Sounds about right.
Tell me your thoughts.
Were you aware that the Nobel Prize in Literature was just announced a couple of days ago? No? Well then you should follow some bookish people or websites on Twitter so you can be in the know. Let’s talk just a little about the prize before I tell you all who was awarded what many consider the most prestigious prize in literature.
The award, as I’m certain you know, is given out annually. But unlike other major literary awards, it is based on the author’s entire body of work. So you won’t be seeing any 25-year-olds winning this bad boy. And let me tell you, I was almost certain that Haruki Murakami was going to take it home. That isn’t to say that the other finalists weren’t deserving, but that I have first hand knowledge of the greatness that is Murakami’s body of work. Have I read everything he’s written? No. But what I have read cannot be understated. This man can write with anyone out there. I was introduced to some of his work during my last semester of college.
So a day or two before the announcement I happened to read an article that placed Murakami and one other finalist at the top of the pile. He was the joint favorite with just hours left before the official announcement. But he didn’t win. And neither did the other favorite. So what happened? One might answer that nothing happened and it was simply awarded to someone else, but there could be something a little fishy going on.
Eight of the last 11 winners have been from Europe. And only five countries outside of Europe have won more than once. I’m not here to proclaim that there’s some conspiracy going on, but that’s a lot of awards going to countries in and around the Swedish Academy. I don’t have any issue with the inherent bias that exists, but perhaps it’s been taken just a bit too far. Perhaps. 77 of the 111 laureates were Europeans. No. The bias that exists is obviously something that needs to be addressed.
There are deserving individuals all over the world, not just Europe.
The 2014 award was given to Patrick Modiano of France. The country that has been awarded a record 15 times. I’ve never read any of his work or even heard of him before now. I won’t say he’s undeserving, but I will say that too many of these awards are being awarded to one region of the world. And sure there’s a lot of recognition that comes with winning the award, but he also received about $1.1 million. Not bad.
What do you think? Think that academy needs to open its eyes a bit or just keep giving the award to Europeans?