Thursday, October 8, 2009

Remember, he invented dynamite

So now that the Nobel Prize literature laureate has been announced, the question that always arises is, should I take this opportunity to read something the new winner wrote? Once the name pops up (and about half the time it's someone I've never heard of), I check to see if the University of Alabama library has copies of the author's book in translation. And bingo! Herta Muller's books are held at UA, and a couple are even in English translation. I had the same thought about Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, but none of the titles seem particularly amenable to leisure reading, even my leisure reading. (You know, if you really want to honor resistance to tyranny, why not Vaclav Havel, whose Largo Desolato is terrific.) Here's an idea for a challenge, but not one I'm willing to start: Read at least one book by each of the last 20 Nobel literature winners. I've read a play by Fo and seen plays by Pinter, and I read "A Bend in the River," but nothing by the others, not even Toni Morrison ("Beloved" is on one of my shelves). Of course, some of these are poets, so does one poem count?

No comments: