Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Nobel Prize For Literature Goes To E@L

For collecting literature that is, not creating it.

Fuck, what am I going to with all these books? Izzy had to buy another IKEA shelf to catch the overflow in her room as I store most of my S-F stuff in there. The lounge room is packed, - four bookshelves, one of them double stacked. My bedroom has its double set of tall IKEA construct-a-shelves which were meant to just hold the books I am currently reading but now they are bloated and double stacked with just my recent (last 12 months) purchases!

Even with my current purchasing criteria of a) nothing contemporary and b) nothing American, (unless the book is recommended by friend, Dick Headley or Martin Amis) things are getting out of hand.

It's just the way I am...

I get into a conversation with someone and have to buy the political philosophy books I should have read before even attempting to participate in the dialogue. I have an idea for a story set in the Russian Gulags and therefore I have read (purchase I mean) everything about Mandelstam and Akhmatova and Solzhenitzen and Stalin ever written. Someone asks about happiness and I grab all the psychologists and philosophers I can find who have an opinion. My head spins as my piles of books grow.

Because you see:

Books expand to fill the shelves available.

And then some.


Meanwhile we wait and wonder for Thursday, the day that the Swedish Spending-Profits-From-Dynamite Academy pronounce on their deliberations for the real Nobel Prize for Literature.

Does anyone have any idea which obscure unpublished Andean poet or Namibian blogger/twitterer they will throw their dart at this year? Which one that is still alive that is, as all the famous people (who deserve to be famous) seem to be dead at the moment. Except in and around Australia!

My sincere and unbiased guesses for the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature:

Les Murray - Australia: The big bloke is still kicking on, so go on, give another Australian a plaudit (can we claim Coetzee, since he lives there?) Les has actually has been short-listed before, so this really is a serious suggestion. Either Les or...

Clive Barker James - Australia: Because, let's face it, he's funny and he's on TV and he keeps churning out books, which is what counts, PLUS if Les and Clive were in the same room a) you wouldn't fit in and b) you couldn't tell them apart. Plus he's a buddy of Martin Amis (who hasn't got a chance for the Prize as he is too short, and it turns out hasn't even read "Journey To The End Of The Night" all the way through.) Perfect unexpected but popular choice.

Germain Greer - Australia: the harpie of Earl's Court has been immensely prolific in upsetting everyone, even claiming the Mrs Shakespeare (she of the second-best bed) wrote all Will's works. Well if she didn't she should've, just to stick it up 'em. The Swedish just love a rebel.

Other than that I can think of anyone writing currently who deserves the kudos. Apart from Thomas Pynchon, who is currently running at 9/1 on the books, well behind Amos Oz (OZ? Not an Aussie?! - no, a popular Israeli novelist), Joyce Carole Oates and Assia Djebar (Assia, not Aussier?! - no, an obscure Algerian novelist). Not to mention Philip Roth.

Go Les, go Clive, go Germaine!


Nice to see an actual Australian (despite the headline, she was born in Australia but has dual American citizenship), Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn, has already received a third of the Nobel Prize for Medicine this year, even though it seems she did at least half the work, having collaborated with both the other winners on the two breakthrough achievement recognized by the Committee. I wonder, do they have to split it equally? Is that really fair?

As far as the other prizes go, I think Joseph, the guy I was having a chin-wag with the other day should win the Economics Nobel Prize. He was convinced he was 100% correct on everything, including all the reasons that the world economy is as fucked up as it is right now, and I couldn't prove him wrong at all because I am just an armchair socialist with my head up my arse* (uncomfortable way to watch TV).

His buddy, Comb-over John, who is currently arguing that Old People (check the Sunday schedule - note the presence of Germaine Greer!) should be turned into green crackers and distributed to the hungry of the world, should get the Politics Nobel nod. Nice one, John.

But that would only make three!

For my money, the guy who created iSnack 2.0 should get the Chemistry Nobel Prize. Putting Vegemite and Cheese IN THE SAME BOTTLE - what an unsurpassed victory in molecular bonding. And that makes...


If we can just get the Lit prize, and we have a genuine show with my choices I reckon, that might give us a real chance of winning the most prestigious cultural medal tally in the world for 2009!! Wouldn't that be fantastic?

C'mon Noble Aussie, c'mon! Aussie Aussie Aussie!! Prize! Prize! Prize!.


Kulcha? We just ooze it.


* private correspondence.


Lost in Melbourne said...

Sitting around reading all those book, although great for expanding your mind could also expand your waist. Why not save space and switch to podcast versions to listen on the bike?

And my verification word is 'condog'

Paul Lewis said...

Put it this way.

Books are great.
Until you have to move house.

expat@large said...

Scott: was explaining to Iz last night how my belly grew after I took up ultrasound in 1984 - in sympathy with all the pregnant patients? As a radiographer I was on my feet all day, plus I used to surf most weekends. After being married for six years or so I lost the abililty to win the arguments to go surfing plus took up the sit down job of ultrasound. I didn't do any sport until I took up cricket at age 32.

Sedentary lifestyle mate. It's on the list.

Paul: I just re-signed at my current apartement at not the price I wanted, but fuck moving all those books!

I should buy a book on How To Negotiate.

DanPloy said...

I see one of my favourite authors, Hilary Mantel, has just one the Booker prize.

She might be a bit light for you?

DanPloy said...

Sorry for the typo.

expat@large said...

Dan: yes I see, I've read Beyond Black and enjoyed it, though she seems a bit of a one-trick pony -ghosts etc.

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