Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nobel Prizes

Who will win the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature? Laila Lalami, who nailed Orhan Pamuk last year, thinks it will be Cormac McCarthy. She also links to this site, which in turn highlights the Ladbrokes odds favoring Claudio Magris. I've never heard of Claudio Magris, but he sounds interesting. I could see Adonis winning, but doubt the committee will pick from the Middle East twice in a row. My own guess is that Chinua Achebe's Booker will put him over the edge.

The Nobel Peace Prize has recently gone for sustainable development work, honoring Wangari Maathai and Muhammad Yunus, with the IAEA sandwiched in between. Unfortunately, I really don't know any grassroots activists who might come up in that vein this year. Al Gore could win in the wake of Live Earth and An Inconvenient Truth, but I suspect the committee will put that off until after the presidential election. They could try for the "Save Our Selves" umbrella group, or perhaps Gro Harlem Brundtland. In the dissident category, we have Morgan Tsvangirai. I think the Karabakh conflict actually needs to be resolved before the negotiators involved in that win anything.

UPDATE: Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think Peace has to go to Tsvangirai this year. Anything else can wait.

UPDATE: In further thinking about the Literature prize, I followed this Literary Saloon thread to Croaking Marley, who also correctly predicted Pamuk's 2006 award. He lists David Grossman, who is probably a more likely Israeli winner than A.B. Yehoshua, as well as the choice most directly related to current events. In the course of his thoughts, however, he also suggests that we're due for a poet, a woman, and an Asian. You could get two of the three with Ko Un, though we're more due for a Latin American writer than an East Asian. I'm sticking with my Achebe guess, though. Pablo Neruda eventually won.

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