Friday, October 16, 2020

On Proust and Joyce not getting Nobel Prizes

The Nobel Prize for Literature is often criticized for overlooked writers, such as Marcel Proust and James Joyce. But Nobel Prizes aren't posthumous, and publication of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, was incomplete when he died in 1922. As for Joyce, before Ulysses, his publications were few, and even after its publication, he was more famous for its scandal than its literary excellence and influence. Then his next work, Finnegans Wake, is a minority taste, and Joyce died two years after its publication. Proust and Joyce are hugely influential, but influence is an often posthumous form of recognition, so at least with them, criticisms of the Nobel are unjustified. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 16 October)

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