October 13, 2005

A New Low?

Stephen Schwartz on the Nobel Prize for Literature

... like a pack of lemmings drunk on home-made aquavit, the Stockholm snobs have continued their rush to fully discredit the literature Nobels, by selecting Harold Pinter as their 2005 laureate. Pinter is an exhausted English playwright whose sole and obvious current qualification for the prize is his strident participation in the America-baiting, Israel-hating protests against the liberation of Iraq.

Pinter himself admitted that his career no longer has anything to do with literary aspirations. Notified of his good fortune, since the prize includes a $1.3 million payout, he snarled today, "I have written 29 plays and I think that's really enough. I think the world has had enough of my plays." He then declared that he has given up playwriting altogether.

Given that Pinter has produced no significant work for the stage in 40 years, one should perhaps admire the candor of his self-criticism. But viewed from another perspective, the Swedes have written a new chapter in ignobility, presenting the world's top literary honor to an author who considers his own work irrelevant.

But what has the Nobel really meant since Yasser Arafat won the Peace Prize?

UPDATE 10/13: Roundup = Malkin

Posted by dan at October 13, 2005 3:50 PM