Saturday, October 04, 2008

Say What?

Horace Engdahl is permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, the body which chooses the Nobel Prize for literature. In an interview with an American journalist this week, he dismissed the writing of the US – the land of Melville, Hemingway and Fitzgerald – as "too isolated, too insular". "They don't translate [foreign books] enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature," he said. "That ignorance is restraining."

American writers were "too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture," he told the Associated Press. "Of course there is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world."


From The New Republic

2 comments:

Crushed said...

Perhaps a little isolationist himself, though I doubt he'd see the irony.

Isn't all literature conditioned by the culture it's written in?

Bridget Jones said...

small minded sour grapes jealousy.