Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chauvinism or Hard Truth?

From Associated Press:

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- The man who announces the Nobel Prize in literature says the United States is too "insular" and ignorant to compete with Europe when it comes to great writing.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Horace Engdahl said Tuesday that "Europe still is the center of the literary world."

Engdahl is the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, which selects the literature prize winner. He is expected to announce the winner in the coming weeks.

Engdahl says the U.S. "is too isolated, too insular" and doesn't really "participate in the big dialogue of literature."

Since Japanese poet Kenzaburo Oe won in 1994, the selections have had a distinct European flavor. The last American winner was Toni Morrison in 1993.

Is there an American novelist or poet who deserves serious Nobel consideration?

HT Bridgette Williams at Texas Pages.


Matt Mullenix said...

Cormack McCarthy? Annie Dillard? Some favorites, anyway.

Henry Chappell said...

Cormack McCarthy would get my vote, and I like Annie Dillard, too, especially An American Childhood. Of course the authorities in Manhattan are huffing at Engdahl's assertion and holding up the usual suspects - Updike and Roth. Both are formidable writers, to be sure, but in certain ways they're as provincial as the most rustic backwoods yarn spinner. And I don't mean that as a put-down. Every story happens somewhere.