Before last year's prize announcement, outgoing permanent secretary Horace Engdahl said the United States was too insular and ignorant to challenge Europe as the center of the literary world, setting off an uproar.Go ahead, Europe. Boost your ego at our expense. It's what you need. It's what we're here for.
However, England struck a different tone, saying that in most language areas "there are authors that really deserve and could get the Nobel Prize and that goes for the United States and the Americas, as well."Engdahl, England... what difference does it make? Do we care what you think?
The contretemps has made people think there is a better-than-normal chance that an American will receive the prize.And Herta Mueller it is.
Oates has been called a favorite to win for 25 years.
However, British betting firm Ladbrokes is giving the lowest odds to Israel's Amos Oz and German writer Herta Mueller.
In ... two works, Muller depicts life in a small, German-speaking village and the corruption, intolerance and repression to be found there. The Romanian national press was very critical of these works while, outside of Romania, the German press received them very positively. Because Mueller had publicly criticized the dictatorship in Romania, she was prohibited from publishing in her own country....Well, let's see some sentences. Let's see some lines and passages. Let's see those "chiselled" details.
The novels Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jaeger (1992), Herztier (1994; The Land of Green Plums, 1996) and Heute war ich mir lieber nicht begegnet (1997; The Appointment, 2001) give, with chiselled details, a portrait of daily life in a stagnated dictatorship.
Socialism, hypnotism, patriotism, materialism.
Fools making laws for the breaking of jaws
And the sound of the keys as they clink
But there's no time to think.