Monday, October 17, 2005

Pinter wins Nobel for literature. Go figure. (Yawn.)

To be honest, I no longer pay much attention to the Nobel prizes in literature. To me, the judging has become something of a joke - silly political posturing instead of an honest search for writing excellence. As per my habit in recent years, I planned to more or less ignore this year's results.

However, the blogger neo-neocon has an interesting and intelligent look at this year's winner, at Next year I suppose he'll get the Peace Prize: Pinter wins Nobel for literature which I think deserves a wider audience.

Meanwhile, Robert Tumminello at the Expat Yank blog has been having a heyday holding Pinter's political pronouncements up to the light. See here, for instance. And here. And here.

And now Terry Teachout, who covers this sort of thing for a living, weighs in with Another Left Turn in Stockholm, which begins:

NEW YORK--Nothing could have been less unexpected than the news that Harold Pinter had won the Nobel Prize for literature. The only surprise was that he deserved it--which probably wasn't why he got it.

Teachout goes on to say, at the bottom of his piece:

All this notwithstanding, it's clear that the Nobels are frequently given for purposes less aesthetic than political, though more often it's the peace prize with which the Nobel committee gets stuck on stupid. (Two words: Yasser Arafat.) And so I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of the reasons why Harold Pinter was deemed especially worthy of this year's literature prize was because his political views were so closely in sync with those of the rest of Old Europe's chattering classes.

Maybe I'm wrong. I wish I were. But by now it doesn't much matter. A prize that has been indiscriminately bestowed upon V.S. Naipaul and Dario Fo, after all, can no longer be taken very seriously, no matter who gets it after that.

What he said.

1 comment:

Bookworm said...

I wonder when the Nobel Prize's reputation will finally sink to the level of its conduct.