Thursday, January 03, 2013

Steinbeck the compromise

Papers just released after 50 years indicate there was little enthusiasm for John Steinbeck's award of the Nobel Prize. He was, it seems, a compromise candidate, the best of a bad bunch.

Well, given that the "bad bunch" included Robert Graves, Lawrence Durrell, Jean Anouilh and Karen Blixen, it doesn't seem so bad to me.

In recent years it has been hard to fathom the ways of the Nobel Prize for Literature. At present, they seem obsessed with rewarding lesser known talents. No American appears to have a chance in this generation. And no British writer would deserve it, except Alasdair Gray, and he can barely get recognition in his native Scotland.

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