BLOG: OK, we can all hate Sweden now

Tom Jackson
Jan 30, 2012

Newly-uncovered documents show that the Nobel Prize for Literature committee discussed considering J.R.R. Tolkien for the prize in 1961 but dismissed him as not good enough.

Instead, the award was bestowed upon a forgotten Yugoslavian writer, Ivo Andric. Besides passing over Tolkien, despite his status as the author of "The Lord of the Rings," the committee rejected Lawrence Durrell, Robert Frost, Graham Greene and E.M. Forster.

Is there a more ridiculous literary award than the Nobel Prize for Literature?

Here is a partial list of writers who didn't win: Mark Twain, Vladimir Nabokov, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, W.H. Auden, Leo Tolstoy, Arthur C. Clarke, Stanislaw Lem, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Yes, there are some good writers who have won the award — among American writers, I can't quarrel with Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and Sinclair Lewis — but the omissions are more striking than the reasonable choices. The award has been given, over and over again, to Scandinavian writers that no one has ever heard of. Just last year, it was given to the Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer.

For an eye-opening look at just how bad the Nobels are, see critic Ted Gioia's list of Nobels in an "alternate universe." I think Gioia's choices of Bob Dylan and Arthur Conan Doyle are particularly inspired, although I'm less thrilled that he chose to honor Ian Fleming and Jack Kerouac.

 

Comments

Whyallthefuss

Can't put much if any stock in the Nobel Prize committee. They gave one to Obama. Worthless. Nothing else needs to be added.

Erie County Resident

Whyallthefuss I am totally appalled by your comment.

I wanted to say that first... LOL

Couldn't agree more with you!!!

Good 2 B Me

Just imagine Mr Jackson... If they gave out a Nobel Prize for best fiction based newspaper or best sesationalized headlines, The Sandpaper would be a Nobel prize winner!

6079 Smith W

Mr. Jackson:

IMO, I think that you must take into account that the yr. was 1961.

Mr. Tolkien's works gained a boost in popularity during the late 1960s and early 70s, due to the psychedelic movement and the reading of by boomer college students.

IMO, the Nobel committee should leave the prizes to the hard sciences and leave the awards of "softer" pursuits like literature and economics for others to divine their importance.

 

 

savantpm

And we have The sad case of Irena Sendler (I would have voted for her, hands down!), who, in 2007, was nosed out of the Nobel Peace Prize by Al Gore and his environmental mantra.  Irena worked for the Warsaw Ghetto sewage system and smuggled out thousands of infants in the bottom of her tool box.  She rescued older children by placing them in burlap sacks in the back of her truck.  She additionally transported a loud and vicious dog in her truck, which kept the Nazis at bay and covered the sounds of crying infants.  The Nazis did apprehand her.  They broke both her arms and legs and beat her senseless.  She lived to be 98 and tried unsuccessfully to locate families of these children, as most of them were gassed.

Who do you believe should have received the 2007 Peace Prize?!   

ljldq88hbu9


A channel with dolphins, Walro hnen? Z? When it was discovered. Scientists say this discovery gives insight into the ancient sea life. ? A Pal ontologist said.? "The fossils are well preserved and fairly completely ndig - a rare combination in the Pal ontology and one that is likely to throw light on many aspects of the ecology and evolution of these extinct ...? species "People discuss in the media of social communication creationism versus evolution theories. Some people are waiting for a scientific explanation? Tion. Others believe they should "accept the biblical flood story