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Thursday, October 09, 2008

The "Insular" Consistency of Idiocy and Bad Politics

Well, it seems I have been validated, vindicated, gold-sealed and delivered from the evils of an insular society.... Marco Roth of the British newspaper "The Guardian" writes:

"I feel a little sorry for Horace Engdahl, although not too sorry. His comments to American journalists last week gave us a glimpse into how the mind of at least one Nobel literature prize judge works, and it wasn't pretty. American writers, en masse, he claimed, were "too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture". Then he launched into one of those incoherent anti-American rants that somehow transformed all of American literature into Sarah Palin and George Bush: "The US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature," he said.
It's unclear who "they" are in all of this. Presumably Engdahl meant US publishers, not US authors. Even so, he forgets that one of the largest of those publishers is now a fief of a multinational corporation based in Germany, where the bottom-line decisions are made. The remarks are so general as to be nonsensical. Where does that big dialogue of literature take place, actually, and how does one participate in it?"


Congratulations go out (by the way) to Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2008. I've never read anything by you, Monsieur Le Clezio, but I will as soon as I get my hands on a good translation... oh wait, we "don't translate enough" here in the U.S. Perhaps I will have better luck next year... I still have two horses in the race and I am not giving up hope. I'll stop being bitter and insular now.

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