Wednesday, 12 October 2005

So Now You Care About Literature; or, Suddenly Everyone's Illiterati [If you've arrived here via Daily Kos, I urge you to read this once you've finished with this post.] Today Harold Pinter won the Nobel Prize in Literature .... and now everyone cares about the written word again. "Now it's become the Ignobel Prize, says one commenter so sure his fellows will miss his pun he feels compelled to add "[sic] is intentional." Another acknowledges that no one "takes this stuff seriously anymore. I can't remember the last time I read a literary novel by a living writer or attended a play by a living playwright." Others remains unconcerned about this sudden upswell of interest in matters literary: in the immortal words of "GoatGuy"—or as he's known in his native Mexico, el chupacabra—no matter how many Nobels some people places on their mantles, "we are protected from runaway liberalism by the very real revolution in interpersonal and distributed communications, just such as this BLOG." Some, however, still care enough about poetry to examine the work they condemn. As Pinter's "American Football" memes arounds certain comment sections, "Carolyn" declares it unworthy of a Nobel because her "son could have done that when he was 10 years old and I would have washed his mouth out with soap." Only a true poetic soul like Carolyn could birth a son so gifted in the poetic arts that, at the tender age of ten, he was capable of penning these immortal lines: We blew the shit right back up their own ass And out their fucking ears. Pinter's award inspires a poetic response from the well-known poet Mark Coffey of Decision '08: A fool, yes… A jackass I am called Yet awards, I win them And nothing’s left but this stale bowl of Fruit Loops Pain Money Dreams Chomsky! My destiny awaits. (Just think: Mark Coffey will never get those three hours back.) Such sweet prosody I expected from Carolyn's foul-mouthed poetic prodigy, but from Mark Coffey? How can so many so patently blessed remain so anonymous? How many mute inglorious Mark Coffeys must we bury before acknowledging the provinciate artistry of Nobel winners? When will the poetry of the 21st Century manifest itself in full? When will the drama of the 21st Century fly off the shelves at the speed of Dan Brown?

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