Five writers who didn’t win the Nobel for Lit.
I love Bob Dylan.
I sang “Idiot Wind” in college during my period; had “Bob Dylan revivals” in my apartment; forgot him during his Jesus freak period; saw him in concert in early 2000s; and clapped when he won Grammys and an Oscar.
But…I have to say…and I don’t want to offend Bob or any rock stars… isn’t it a Swedish slap in the American face to give the Nobel Prize for Literature to an American musician?
We have a rich, vibrant literary canon. Think Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, Sharon Olds, Ursula K. Le Guin, Marilynne Robinson, Ann Beattie, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, Anne Tyler, Louise Erdrich, Louise Gluck, Charles Wright…and so many more.
Toni Morrison deservedly won it in 1994. No American since. Now Bob.
All right, just another bizarre Nobel decision.
And now for five Literary Links!
1. Timothy Noah writes at Slate about “The Death of the Phone Call.” Here’s an excerpt:
It’s a lonely business, this life without telephone calls.
I have a friend named Joe, whom I don’t see often because we live in different cities, and always have. He’s not a close friend, but I like him enormously. I used to phone Joe, or Joe would phone me, a couple of times a year. No particular reason—we’d just check up on each other, exchange a bit of gossip, talk about politics or journalism or our families. I saw Joe recently at a party, along with his second wife and their young son, and was caught up short when I realized that I had no idea what their names were. I had no idea because Joe and I had stopped phoning each other sometime around, well, 2007. When I introduced myself to Joe’s wife (her name turned out to be Dawn) I noticed that my name was no more familiar to her than hers to me.
2. Top 10 books about intelligent animals at The Guardian.
3. Michael Dirda writes about Ursula K. Le Guin at The Washington Post: “At 86, Ursula K. Le Guin is finally getting the recognition she deserves — almost”
4. Mary Beard considers Cicero and Clodius, among others, in “What Is a Demagogue?” at “A Don’s Life,” at the TLS.
5. Gubbinal at Slouching towards Senescence writes about The Fall of the Magicians by Weldon Kees, a Nebraskan poet I’ve never heard of. She says, “Kees was one of the stranger blokes of the 20th century poetry world and also among the best.”
I love Nebraska lit and can’t wait to read this!