Monday, October 06, 2008

Dumb Swede Knocks US Literature

Charles McGrath is the editor of the NYT Book Review section and gets his Irish up about the twaddle exhaled by a member of the Nobel Lit nominating committee. This Mr. Engdahl emitted a brain fart to AP that American lit won't be considered as we are "too sensitive to trends in [our] own mass culture." OTOH, "Europe is still the center of the literary world."

This is especially hilarious since a prominent Swedish "intellectual" was asked to comment on Swedish culture in a Davos Forum a couple of weeks ago and admitted that she didn't think there was one! Of course, Brits laughed because two Swedish twins had just tried to kill themselves by running onto the M6 Motorway outside London. [Sorry, no links to either.] Of course, a famous American writer was invited to dine with the Swedish committee after winning a prize [I think it was Steinbeck] and recalled that almost all the conversation concerned bizarre jokes about the Swedes and the Norwegians---he had never heard about that rivalry, but anyone from Minnesota or Wisconsin hears dozens of Swede/Norwegian jokes---proof of Sweden's cultural superiority over our parochial American insularity.

This Swedish guy has got to be worthy of a South Park episode.

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