Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Europe to America: your books suck
Things looks grim for any American author hoping to win this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. According to the chair of the Academy in charge of selecting authors for this honor, "The U.S. is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature . . . that ignorance is restraining." Ouch. From a Swede, no less, whose nation has flooded the globe with astounding literary works from authors like _____________, _____________, and of course - who could forget - ____________. The chairman goes on to say, apparently without irony, that Europe is a 'safe haven' that "respects the independence of literature", where authors can be "left alone and write, without being beaten to death." Ah yes, Europe is truly the nexus of free speech, and no one is ever threatened for writing what they think; unless, of course, you draw objectionable cartoons or make movies critical of, say, Islam, in which case you might end up forced to flee the continent for your life and get stabbed to death in the streets if you stay. But don't worry, that's not a sign of ignorance or censorship, that's tolerance and understanding and respect you're looking at as rioting free-thinkers light your car on fire. And hell, we can all agree that breakout Swedish novelist ______________ deserves the prize anyway.