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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stupid European: “Blah Blah Blah.”

posted by on September 30 at 15:29 PM

Nobel literature head: US too insular to compete

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Bad news for American writers hoping for a Nobel Prize next week: the top member of the award jury believes the United States is too insular and ignorant to compete with Europe when it comes to great writing.

Counters the head of the U.S. National Book Foundation: “Put him in touch with me, and I’ll send him a reading list.”

As the Swedish Academy enters final deliberations for this year’s award, permanent secretary Horace Engdahl said it’s no coincidence that most winners are European.

“Of course there is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can’t get away from the fact that Europe still is the center of the literary world … not the United States,” he told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Tuesday.

Let’s see how he likes our literature when we send Randy “The Macho Man” Savage over there to shove some John Grisham novels down his snooty-ass throat. U!S!A! U!S!A!

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Sweden is somehow less insular than we are?

Posted by Dougsf | September 30, 2008 3:32 PM

Macho Man's dead, yo.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | September 30, 2008 3:38 PM

but presumably not as ignorant.

Posted by ellarosa | September 30, 2008 3:39 PM

Europe is down to about a half a testicle. It almost isn't worth crushing that last bit.

Posted by Bryan | September 30, 2008 3:45 PM

In case you needed to know why Philip Roth hasn't gotten the nod yet. Worse than the Oscars.

Posted by Ryno | September 30, 2008 3:49 PM

Before you Americans get all worked up, last year's literature Nobel Price winner Elfriede Jelinek thinks it is a joke she got the Nobel Prize and not Thomas Pynchon:

FAZ interview with Elfriede Jelinek

(In German)

Posted by la23ng | September 30, 2008 4:23 PM

Troops out of Iraq and into Sweden, please. We'll give you something to write about.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 30, 2008 4:23 PM

European Literature died about 50 years ago...about the same time their importance to fashion, food and film died as well.

Or to be precise, August 12, 1955 when Thomas Mann died.

Posted by michael strangeways | September 30, 2008 4:27 PM

This is stupid. Most European books aren't even in English!

Posted by DOUG. | September 30, 2008 4:28 PM

I (heart) DOUG.

Posted by Paul Constant | September 30, 2008 4:36 PM

I think I've heard of this "Europe" before.

Posted by Simac | September 30, 2008 4:43 PM

One word: Updike.

Posted by Matthew | September 30, 2008 5:00 PM

the nobel hands out literature awards based on politics, not art.

Posted by max solomon | September 30, 2008 5:02 PM

You stay classy, Sweden.

Posted by Greg | September 30, 2008 5:05 PM

saying that America is trashy just makes you look trashy.

Posted by ashy trashy potato mashy | September 30, 2008 5:07 PM

Dude obviously hasn't read Hunting Mister Heartbreak, and therefore doesn't get why Jonathan Raban chose to move to the States. (To Seattle, even!)

Enough to make me wanna renounce my Scandinavian-via-Ballard ethnic heritage--almost. Instead I think I'll just hurl all over my copy of The Prose Edda.

Sorry, Jerry Lundegaard!

Posted by Jeff Stevens | September 30, 2008 5:25 PM

Let's see O'Neill, Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Morrison, Buck, Eliot, Sinclair Lewis are/were all American. And a good portion of the rest spent a good deal of time in the U.S. sucking up American academic dollars. Nope, no literature here.

Posted by DrJim | September 30, 2008 5:26 PM

#17 - they good still be smarting that Sinclair Lewis rejected his prize. Probably not though. I bet the truth is closer to what #13 said.

Posted by Dougsf | September 30, 2008 5:32 PM

Philip Roth does not deserve this award. At all. Stop with that shit. And not Updike, either.

David Foster Wallace, had he lived and published another brick like IJ, would've been my pick for the next American to win.

Posted by R | September 30, 2008 6:42 PM

To quote a stand-up comic I heard many years ago: "I don't want to brag, but I've been to Europe! Excellent country. We beat them in World War II, y'know?"

Posted by Chris B | September 30, 2008 10:23 PM

the Macho Man reads Grishman?

Posted by Andy | October 1, 2008 1:32 AM

Yo Balt-O-Matt, Macho Man is going to kill you for saying that.

Posted by PdxRitchie | October 1, 2008 1:56 PM

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