The Nobel Prize in Literature, 2010
Richard Dawkins could win the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. I know you are laughing. But it is possible. Dawkins is a great writer. Some of you, I am sure, recognize the power of his books. Bertrand Russell did win it in 1950. So, it is possible for Dawkins to win it as well.
The last poet to win the Nobel Prize in Literature was Wislawa Szymborska. That was back in 1996, fourteen years ago. This is the longest period of time that passed between two poets winning this prestigious prize.
I do believe that this is going to be the year of the poets. And I also do believe that it is going to be Adunis. He is a remarkable poet. His short poems are my favorites, but his long poems can also hold the intensity until it ends. His long poem “The Funeral of New York” begins with:
Picture the earth as a pear
Between such fruits and death
survives an engineering trick:
Call it a city on four legs
heading for murder
while the drowned already moan
in the distance.
New York is a woman
holding, according to history,
a rag called liberty with one hand
and strangling the earth with the other.
From the side of the novelists, I would like to see Ngugi wa Thiongo winning it. It is about time to honor this giant from Africa. His “Petals of Blood” cuts like a sharp razor blade.
Salman Rushdie could also win it. But he is a risky business. I don’t think that the Nobel Committee would like to take such risks.