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Handke is actually the second pro-Milosevic writer to win this award. Harold Pinter won it in 2005, leading to a similar torrent of criticism from Western liberals because of his outspoken views about Serbia and Bosnia. I'm not similar with Handke's work, but Pinter was a great playwright whose literary merits justified him winning the award.

They should give it to Michel Houellebecq if they want to cause a stir.
 

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Discussion Starter #82
Handke is actually the second pro-Milosevic writer to win this award. Harold Pinter won it in 2005, leading to a similar torrent of criticism from Western liberals because of his outspoken views about Serbia and Bosnia. I'm not similar with Handke's work, but Pinter was a great playwright whose literary merits justified him winning the award.

They should give it to Michel Houellebecq if they want to cause a stir.
Yeah, I know about him, wasn't he the guy who hated Islam because his mother converted to Islam? May check his works too, if they have any literary value, I won't mind.
 

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They should give it to Michel Houellebecq if they want to cause a stir.
I doubt they wanted to cause a stir. Handke would have won this long before imo, (being arguably one of the greatest living writers) if it wasn't for his desperate need to piss against the wind. His support of Milosevic didn't have much to do with Milosevic and his politics. I think it is Handke's character, some psychological thing. I am almost 100% sure this is a result of his peculiar background, childhood and upbringing.
 

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Yeah, I know about him, wasn't he the guy who hated Islam because his mother converted to Islam? May check his works too, if they have any literary value, I won't mind.
I've never read anything about his mother converting to Islam and would not care to psychoanalyse him on the basis of such claims.

His novel, Soumission, was controversial. You might remember that it was published on the same day as the Charlie Hebdo massacre (Houellebecq was satirised on the front page of Charlie Hebdo on that day). The setting of the novel - a 2022 French presidential run-off between Marine Le Pen and an Islamist politician - combined with the circumstances of its publication, ensured that it would be the most relevant literary moment in recent French history. This is fortunate, because it is a good novel, and should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in Europe and its destiny. Houellebecq has been fortuitous with the timing of his novels in relation to real events, giving him a reputation as a seer in some circles: his new book, Sérotonine, has a plot which is uncannily similar to the gilet jaunes protests, despite being written before those protests started.

When I read it, I found it surprisingly sympathetic with Islam and the prospect of France being Islamified, even if it is a begrudging sympathy. Houellebecq clearly has his finger on the pulse of some political currents that are bubbling underneath the surface, which makes the novel interesting to read for anyone interested in radical metapolitics. The dialogue tends to be good, if not the perverted inner monologues of his repulsive protagonist. The inevitable 'submission', foreshadowed in the title of the novel (which is obviously a transliteration of "Islam"), is partly the result of the protagonist being courted by a charming Muslim intellectual armed with a Guénon-tinged critique of modernity, fused with a particular reading of French history - a sort of Islamic Bonapartism. That is something which could realistically seduce lost nihilists who might otherwise find solace in ultra-nationalist politics, and embittered young Muslims in France whose resentment can lead them to networks like the Hizb ut-Tahrir or the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is not actually much of a 'clash of civilisations' novel, despite the hype around it. The 2022 election is a mere backdrop for Houellebecq's Nietzschean prognosis on the shortcomings of secular modernity in France. It is not a political thriller and is not really about politics, and anyone trying to read it as such will miss the point.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
I've never read anything about his mother converting to Islam and would not care to psychoanalyse him on the basis of such claims.

His novel, Soumission, was controversial. You might remember that it was published on the same day as the Charlie Hebdo massacre (Houellebecq was satirised on the front page of Charlie Hebdo on that day). The setting of the novel - a 2022 French presidential run-off between Marine Le Pen and an Islamist politician - combined with the circumstances of its publication, ensured that it would be the most relevant literary moment in recent French history. This is fortunate, because it is a good novel, and should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in Europe and its destiny. Houellebecq has been fortuitous with the timing of his novels in relation to real events, giving him a reputation as a seer in some circles: his new book, Sérotonine, has a plot which is uncannily similar to the gilet jaunes protests, despite being written before those protests started.

When I read it, I found it surprisingly sympathetic with Islam and the prospect of France being Islamified, even if it is a begrudging sympathy. Houellebecq clearly has his finger on the pulse of some political currents that are bubbling underneath the surface, which makes the novel interesting to read for anyone interested in radical metapolitics. The dialogue tends to be good, if not the perverted inner monologues of his repulsive protagonist. The inevitable 'submission', foreshadowed in the title of the novel (which is obviously a transliteration of "Islam"), is partly the result of the protagonist being courted by a charming Muslim intellectual armed with a Guénon-tinged critique of modernity, fused with a particular reading of French history - a sort of Islamic Bonapartism. That is something which could realistically seduce lost nihilists who might otherwise find solace in ultra-nationalist politics, and embittered young Muslims in France whose resentment can lead them to networks like the Hizb ut-Tahrir or the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is not actually much of a 'clash of civilisations' novel, despite the hype around it. The 2022 election is a mere backdrop for Houellebecq's Nietzschean prognosis on the shortcomings of secular modernity in France. It is not a political thriller and is not really about politics, and anyone trying to read it as such will miss the point.
Thanks for your time and effort going into this. Interesting, will definitely check.

What did you think of V.S. Naipaul who won the prize back in 2001?
 

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Thanks for your time and effort going into this. Interesting, will definitely check.

What did you think of V.S. Naipaul who won the prize back in 2001?
I haven't read any of his books yet. :sad: I listened to the audiobook of Christopher Hitchens' memoir, Hitch-22, earlier this year, and added Naipaul's The Enigma of Arrival to my reading list after Hitchens quoted an insightful passage from it.
 

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I've never read anything about his mother converting to Islam and would not care to psychoanalyse him on the basis of such claims.

His novel, Soumission, was controversial. You might remember that it was published on the same day as the Charlie Hebdo massacre (Houellebecq was satirised on the front page of Charlie Hebdo on that day). The setting of the novel - a 2022 French presidential run-off between Marine Le Pen and an Islamist politician - combined with the circumstances of its publication, ensured that it would be the most relevant literary moment in recent French history. This is fortunate, because it is a good novel, and should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in Europe and its destiny. Houellebecq has been fortuitous with the timing of his novels in relation to real events, giving him a reputation as a seer in some circles: his new book, Sérotonine, has a plot which is uncannily similar to the gilet jaunes protests, despite being written before those protests started.

When I read it, I found it surprisingly sympathetic with Islam and the prospect of France being Islamified, even if it is a begrudging sympathy. Houellebecq clearly has his finger on the pulse of some political currents that are bubbling underneath the surface, which makes the novel interesting to read for anyone interested in radical metapolitics. The dialogue tends to be good, if not the perverted inner monologues of his repulsive protagonist. The inevitable 'submission', foreshadowed in the title of the novel (which is obviously a transliteration of "Islam"), is partly the result of the protagonist being courted by a charming Muslim intellectual armed with a Guénon-tinged critique of modernity, fused with a particular reading of French history - a sort of Islamic Bonapartism. That is something which could realistically seduce lost nihilists who might otherwise find solace in ultra-nationalist politics, and embittered young Muslims in France whose resentment can lead them to networks like the Hizb ut-Tahrir or the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is not actually much of a 'clash of civilisations' novel, despite the hype around it. The 2022 election is a mere backdrop for Houellebecq's Nietzschean prognosis on the shortcomings of secular modernity in France. It is not a political thriller and is not really about politics, and anyone trying to read it as such will miss the point.
I must disagree with the bolded bit. It is not sympahetic at all with that prospect, not even begrudgingly. It's supremely ironic à la Houellebecq and, as such, very negative toward that prospect. Not surprisingly, since he's negative toward everything (life, France, mankind,...)
 

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NObels have a terrible track record for picking authors that turn out to be significant 40 years on--even to hardcore literatis, and almost never to the general reading public.
They are usually political pics so it's bizarre they picked what posters here are describing as right wing-ish authors.
I read Handke a bit decades ago, barely made an impression me, I do not remember him as right wing, though if he defends Milo ... Not familiar with Olga ..though read first few lines in a bookstore last week, not compelled further.

NObels have ended up missing the majority of great 20th century writers.
Most literary awards miss the mark.
 

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Handke is actually the second pro-Milosevic writer to win this award. Harold Pinter won it in 2005, leading to a similar torrent of criticism from Western liberals because of his outspoken views about Serbia and Bosnia. I'm not similar with Handke's work, but Pinter was a great playwright whose literary merits justified him winning the award.

They should give it to Michel Houellebecq if they want to cause a stir.
They would never give it to Houellebecq, his soul is entirely rotten.
I'm not referring to his latest book about Islam--but I can only presume it falls into line with rest.
He's a kind of classic French misanthrope/misogynist (intellectual nerd who can't get laid enough) and true his writing--stylistically, technically, is extremely good--but the content of his writing has almost nothing to offer.

His best book IMO (and I read, or tired to read at least 3 earlier ones) was Map of the Territory. I found way less "rot" or free ranging contempt in this one, and way more story than is usually the case for him.

And I have a very high tolerance for this kind of rot or contempt in literature.
 

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I haven't read any of his books yet. :sad: I listened to the audiobook of Christopher Hitchens' memoir, Hitch-22, earlier this year, and added Naipaul's The Enigma of Arrival to my reading list after Hitchens quoted an insightful passage from it.
I liked Hitch-22. Nailaul's greatest book is generally considered to be "A HOuse for Mr. Biswas" I read "A Bend in the River" many moons ago. It was very good.
There's no doubt, though, that he's a racist.
 

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Discussion Starter #91
https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2019/10/10/an-expedition-reveals-the-perils-of-reading-dostoyevsky-in-antarctica

An expedition reveals the perils of reading Dostoyevsky in Antarctica

Holed up for a polar winter, a group of explorers got through a lot of books

Forty years ago, in the autumn of 1979, a group of British explorers set out from London on a seemingly impossible mission: a circumpolar navigation of the Earth. Over the three years of what was known as the Transglobe Expedition, they would struggle against high seas in the Roaring Forties, evade hungry polar bears, negotiate mountainous sand dunes and forbidding jungles. There was another danger, more insidious and less photogenic than any of these, but which nonetheless posed a threat to their endeavour—boredom. This was to be particularly acute in Antarctica, where, after traversing Africa, the group was obliged to spend months huddled in icy darkness.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes and the team he had assembled undertook their journey in a much less technological age. There was no satellite navigation; messages to and from their base camp were sent in Morse code by Sir Ranulph’s wife, Ginny, who was in charge of communications. Nor were there any Kindles. A big part of the cargo aboard the Benjamin Bowring, the expedition’s ice-breaker, was books.

Fortified by this reserve, the team undertook two adventures at once—one of the body and one on the page, both involving extreme conditions, endless vistas and unsettling claustrophobia. Both laid bare the personalities of the participants, and both left their marks.

Strange seas of thought, alone

The plan for Antarctica was to spend the first brief summer getting the main group—Sir Ranulph, Ginny and two former members of the SAS, Charlie Burton and Oliver Shepard—up onto the lofty Antarctic Plateau, where they would wait out the eight-month polar winter before embarking on their crossing of the continent in the spring. They succeeded in establishing themselves on the 3,000-metre-high ice shelf. “I dug an awful lot of snow, dug tunnels, dug slop pits and latrines,” Sir Ranulph, now 75, recalls. The Antarctic leg “required an enormous amount of time crouched over maps. But there was time for reading, and we read a lot.”
At Eton he had been taught French by David Cornwell, the alter ego of John le Carré: “He developed in me a lasting love of literature, of the sound of great language.” Penguin, the publisher, had offered to sponsor them, Sir Ranulph explains. He took 50 volumes by classic British authors—Dickens, Scott, Thackeray and Trollope (“Dickens was always a bit like coming home”). For his part, Burton requested a boxful of Westerns. Mr Shepard, meanwhile, had “hardly read at all when I went out there”. Before the expedition he had worked in the wine trade; he now lives in France. But “we were in a hut the size of a garden shed,” he recalls, and reading “was the only form of escape I had.”

His preference was for an epic tale of adventure, played out against a hostile and perilous landscape. “I read ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy seven times,” Mr Shepard says. “It seemed to appertain so closely to what we had decided to undertake.” He believes that this prolonged engagement with literature left a lasting impression. More than simply being a diversion, it “put me on the path of an avid reader”. He remembers “War and Peace” and Kafka as “hard work” but “worth it”. (Ginny Fiennes died in 2004, Burton in 2002.)
At least the main expedition crew was partly occupied by anticipation of the polar crossing. The team had also established another camp, just inland from the ice-packed Southern Ocean. There two young men, Anto Birkbeck and Simon Grimes, were to guard the fuel and food supplies that would be airlifted to Sir Ranulph and his colleagues when winter was over.

At the time Mr Birkbeck, who is now a fund manager, was just 22 and straight out of university; he leapt at the chance of spending an exotic winter in the polar darkness. He and Mr Grimes, who had never met before they set out, were crammed into an even smaller hut than their counterparts on the plateau. There were two desks, two bunks and over 200 books.
“Our hut was a bubble on the ice shelf, miles of flat whiteness with a hundred foot of ice beneath us, and the sky above and the sea beyond,” Mr Birkbeck recollects. These were abnormal—and, it turned out, risky—circumstances. “The more I think about it, the more really odd it was to be parked in a box with some very good books and great ideas…You do end up looking too deeply into the Eye of Sauron,” the malign antagonist of “The Lord of the Rings”.

Mr Birkbeck started off with a clear plan for his days: an hour of physical exercise in the morning, followed by an hour of physics, an hour of Spanish study and then an hour reading poetry. The rest of the day would be spent with a novel. “As winter wore on,” he says, “the novels took over. I started getting up at midday and just reading a novel until bedtime.”
He had asked friends to recommend their desert-island books, and duly worked through all of Tolstoy, Hardy and George Eliot, plus “Don Quixote”, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and Joyce’s “Ulysses” (as well as Homer’s “Odyssey”). As well as the poetry (Chaucer, Milton, T.S. Eliot and “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”), there was philosophy (Nietzsche, Hegel, Bertrand Russell and Aristotle). And, almost fatefully, he read Dostoyevsky.

There was one moment, towards the end of the winter, when Mr Birkbeck had just finished reading “Crime and Punishment” and found himself walking behind Mr Grimes on the ice. In his memory, the events of that day are now murky. “I find it very difficult to know whether it is a figment of my imagination or not,” he says. “There’s no question that if you put two people in a hut the size of a caravan and shut them up for nine months, you will generate intense frustration,” for which “the other person is the obvious focus.”
On this particular day, “I don’t remember ever having a row, but I do remember being intensely irritated by him.” Mr Birkbeck also recalls having an ice-axe in his hand as he trailed his hut-mate through the whiteness. “I remember getting deeply into the mind of Raskolnikov and thinking hard about this cold-blooded murder,” which Dostoyevsky’s anti-hero commits with an axe. At the same time he was pondering the question of whether good and evil truly exist. “I don’t really know whether [Mr Grimes] was in danger or not.”

Now, thinking back after four decades on what he calls a “Boys’ Own adventure”, Mr Birkbeck says the experience was “more powerful and meaningful” than he had realised. Over the years the two feats involved, one mental and one physical, each formative in its own way, have come to chime and blur. “It was not just about the South Pole,” he concludes. “It was also about Dostoyevsky and James Joyce,” and about “the lasting power of great books”.
 

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Discussion Starter #92
Just finished Masse und Macht (Crowds and Power) from Elias Canetti, amazing book. A bit heavy, but worth a read.
 

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@ne znam ali mozda
Ok, you deleted the post but Im giving you some cues of Spanish language literature anyway

SPAIN
352894


CUBA
352895


That's all contemporary (since mid. XXth c.), all widely translated (Arenas might not be in Turkish, English/Italian for sure). Any work of those authors is worthy of reading. You may want to start from that Padura book, I think you'll like it. I may follow later with more, also earlier literature.

And this is what Im currently reading:
352897


Knausgaard is taking me ages, first two books were great, 3d so so but since then downhill. I like this Pamuk but nothing like Istanbul, not a novel though.
 

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Discussion Starter #94
@ne znam ali mozda
Ok, you deleted the post but Im giving you some cues of Spanish language literature anyway

SPAIN
View attachment 352894

CUBA
View attachment 352895


That's all contemporary (since mid. XXth c.), all widely translated (Arenas might not be in Turkish, English/Italian for sure). Any work of those authors is worthy of reading. You may want to start from that Padura book, I think you'll like it. I may follow later with more, also earlier literature.

And this is what Im currently reading:
View attachment 352897

Knausgaard is taking me ages, first two books were great, 3d so so but since then downhill. I like this Pamuk but nothing like Istanbul, not a novel though.
Muchas gracias. Nice work and I will check them.

Aha, you mean his auto-biography, Istanbul, that one is fantastic, made me appreciate the city I live in back in my teenage days. Good shout.

edit, just googled the book you are reading from Pamuk atm, la vida nueva, this is 'The New Life', (Yeni Hayat) I heard about it but haven't read yet, let me know how you liked it, interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #95
Just finished Grapes of Wrath from Steinbeck, (I know it is a classic and I am late but such is life) I am stunned, what a great read it was.
 
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