More Indignity

Is it too much to call this the last straw for the “Super” Booker Prize?

In Life after ‘Nemesis’ in the Financial Times Jan Dalley profiles Philip Roth, who will (not) be picking up the Man Booker International Prize on Tuesday (he will be “celebrated” on Tuesday, but only in abstentia, as he apparently can’t be bothered to show up).

Dunno, but after pseudo-dq’ing the bulk of the competition because they weren’t written in English only to find that the one dude who did write in English doesn’t even care enough to come and be feted by you, seems that the “Super” Booker would want to take a long, hard look in the mirror.

Incidentally, I’m always aghast to see writing like this (which comes from a profile of Philip Roth in which we learn that he won’t make the trip to London):

“I’ve stopped reading fiction. I don’t read it at all. I read other things: history, biography. I don’t have the same interest in fiction that I once did.”

How so ?

“I don’t know. I wised up . . . ”

And with those three words he gave me a long look from those fierce eyes and then a significant glance at my notebook, as if to say: that’s what I want you to write down.

Are we still interviewing Philip Roth or have we somehow entered a time warp into John Wayne’s idea of the Wild West?



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I wonder, was the original indignity the commercially motivated establishment of the award, or the naming of the award as ‘Super’!

Either seems repugnant to a high-minded literary prize.

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