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25 October 2012

Javier sticks to his guns

Javier Marías has been awarded – and has subsequently rejected - Spain’s national narrative prize for his novel, Los enamoramientos (The Infatuations).  Marías has stated for decades that awards given by governments, especially by his in Spain, come with a level of politics and tainting he cannot stomach, and also objects to prizes where the money is taken from taxes or fees imposed by governments on the people.  On a more personal level, the Spaniard relates that many of his literary heroes and masters, including his father, were ignored for the prize for less worthy recipients, noting that “if they weren’t given it, why should I be given it.”

19 October 2012

And Richard Shea on NPR

Well, in a moment of weakness, it seems the good folks at NPR and the Paris Review have decided they like a short story of mine.  Here it is:

14 October 2012

Javier Marías at the BBC

The BBC World Service's 'World Book Club' recently selected Marías's "A Heart So White" as the book of the month.  Here is a link to the interview wherein the author answers questions from a world-wide audience:

10 October 2012

And the winner will be...

Javier Marías should win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

I’m just not sure it will happen this year.

Now that betting agencies have increased wagering on one of the most prestigious prizes in the world, I thought it time to attempt my own prognostications.  Let me put aside my personal favorite and make a prediction (probably a wrong one):

Either Chinua Achebe or Salman Rushdie will be the surprise winner announced in 15 hours out of Stockholm.  You heard it here first.

(Addendum: Chinese writer Mo Yan has this morning been awarded the prize, keeping my streak of horribly inaccurate predictions intact.)

02 October 2012

Books read in September

Another month, another 10 books.  Here they are:

Selected Prose  by  Fernando Pessoa
The Book of Embraces  by  Eduardo Galeano
Renaissance Lives  by  Theodore Rabb
The Insufferable Gaucho  by  Roberto Bolaño
Last Evenings on Earth  by  Roberto Bolaño
The Voyage to the Island of the Articoles  by  Andre Maurois
The Horses of St Marks  by  Charles Freeman
Asleep in the Sun  by  Adolfo Bioy Casares
The Ball  by  John Fox
The Cardboard House  by  Martín Adán