Thursday, October 08, 2009

And Winner is (And the Winner Should Be)...

Well, as predicted by the surge in the odds (and, like last year, suggesting an inside source leaked the news early), Herta Müller won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Though risking confirmation of what the asshole former secretary said last year, I’ll admit that I have not heard of this woman. This is none too shocking; I’ve not heard of a lot of people, writers included. It helps if they’ve been translated, sure, so I might blame the lack of renderings of her books into English, though that would only further confirm what was said about all of us in the big 50.

As I stated previously here, and to anyone else who’d listen, I want Nicanor Parra to get the award before he dies. And really, he isn’t getting any younger. It occurred to me that one of the reasons he may never get the prize—though he has received many—might be that his (anti)poems are too laden with humor. The folks who dole out big, important awards tend to dismiss humor in favor of serious writings. I mean, this year’s winner of the Nobel writes (according to the sources I’ve read online) books about the stark life of Romanians under Ceauşescu. So yeah… what’s a funny poem or two compared to that? Still, the realities of Latin America's political climate—certainly Parra’s native Chile—are addressed in his work, albeit often with a dash of the funny. There’s an absurdity to life that often deserves absurd reactions.

Anyway… before I get all up my own quasi-intellectual ass, let me just end this post with a link to some words of advice from Parra to the young poets, and you know who you are: