Thursday, October 11, 2007

Science Fiction Nobel Prize Winner!

Speculative fiction writer Doris Lessing has won the Nobel Prize -- hurrah! I first read her on my first visit to England, where we read In Pursuit of the English, about her arrival in England from South Africa (where she had lived with her family although she was born in Persia which is now Iran) and the difficulties of understanding Englishness. This the course where I also read Absolute Beginners and Lucky Jim (Amis's best, perhaps only enjoyable book).

Of course the rhetoric of the news stories is "English author" of "literature" -- we'll just pretend that she's uncomplicatedly of one nation, and definitely not a genre writer, oh no.

What does the woman herself say? "Space or science fiction has become a dialect for our time."


Susan said...

And can the constant negative enforcement of our image abroad never cease? *sigh*


American literary critic Harold Bloom called the academy's decision "pure political correctness."

"Although Ms. Lessing at the beginning of her writing career had a few admirable qualities, I find her work for the past 15 years quite unreadable ... fourth-rate science fiction," Bloom told The Associated Press.


Yeesh. Can we say WASPish sour grapes?

C. Margery Kempe said...

LOL -- for those unfamiliar with Bloom's blowhard tendencies, I'd send you to this amusing, snarky but not entirely inaccurate piece on him. For Bloom, Shakespeare is the beginning and end of English language literature. Well, there's that then...