Uncle Sam Has Bigger Problems
By Ulrich Baron
Spiegel Online International
October 2, 2008
Horace Engdahl of the Nobel Prize committee doesn’t think American authors are good enough for the world’s top literary honor. His comments are laughable, but they will certainly draw more attention to the awards this year.
Horace Engdahl, the secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy, thinks US authors are overrated.
For all the people who have incorrectly predicted for years that the next Noble Prize in literature would go to Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon or some other American, it’s now come time to face reality. That’s because Horace Engdahl, the permanent secretary of the Nobel Prize selection committee, has revealed why American authors have no chance in Stockholm. In his opinion, American writers are “too insular,” “too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture” and too ignorant to write good books. And Engdahl claims to know the reason behind their narrow-mindedness, too: “They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature.” [read the rest here]