Saturday, October 09, 2010

Liu Xiaobo & Vargas Fully Deserve Nobels, Unlike Some Recent Bogus Peace Laureates

Vargas Llosa

City Journal praises both Norway and Sweden for attempting to steer a bit away from the maelstrom, to use a local appropriate image, as its recent Far-Left Peace and Literature Laureates have created a giant sucking whirlpool of flotsam and jetsam with the obscure cultural detritus that only the rancid European Left can summon at will. This year, at any rate, bizarre sexual politics or obscurantism will have to take a bye.

Vargas in Stockholm and Xiaobo in Oslo both richly deserve their prizes, having earned them in the marketplace of ideas and political jousting. This somewhat gets away from the silly awards given to Obama and Carter and Gore and Krugman and other utterly second-rate dodos, including the one given Baradei, who singlehandedly allowed Iran to continue its development of a nuke weapon and got a Nobel in one of the sourest ironies of the long history of the Peace Prize.

Guy Sorman ends his short encomium of the unexpected dose of reality that the Nobel Committees have suddenly produced:
Many times in the past, the Nobel Committee has bestowed its Peace Prize on obscure characters in a commendable effort to represent the world’s diversity. In recognizing Liu, however, the committee has rejected any temptation for cultural and moral relativism and elevated a transcendent figure. Liu is a global citizen who fights for universal values: he happens to be Chinese, incarcerated in a Chinese jail. If he were from Zimbabwe or Venezuela, he would voice the same passion for liberty.

The Swedish Academy’s awarding of Mario Vargas Llosa with the Nobel Prize for Literature follows this same surprisingly enlightened pattern. Unlike the difficult, distant poets recognized in recent years, Vargas Llosa is an accessible novelist whose books are translated in most significant languages, often under his own supervision. Vargas Llosa is thus, like Liu, a global citizen. Like Liu, he rejects any notion of exoticism or cultural relativism. An indomitable freedom fighter in Latin America, he has always opposed the notion that authoritarianism—whether Cuban or Venezuelan—is essentially rooted in local culture. He has stood firmly against the political exploitation of ethnicity and skin color in Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela. He shares with Liu Xiaobo a conviction that we are all human beings first, individuals belonging to a global civilization. The liberty that both men defend rightfully belongs to everyone and is not dependent on culture, ethnicity, or history.

There is another nice WSJ expert explaining that Vargas has always been against dictatorships fo either right or left, whereas most of the time, the Stockholm Committee doesn't mind writers like Marquez and Neruda who enthusiastically plump for LEFT-WING dictatorships

I for one don't think we'll see an American get the literature prize for a good while yet, which I personally would give to Don DeLillo---a balanced writer again, so that won't happen in my lifetime or perhaps ever. It may go to Philip Roth or some other prodigy of endurance or horror [Corman McCarthy comes to mind]. My old buddy Carlos Fuentes might get it next year, to balance out the conservative Vargas and stay away from the Eastern Hemisphere, but Carlos is a bit shallow and predictable and derivative, although he is a prince of a fellow. Next year, Bono may get the Prize and this too would be deserved and somewhat balanced, but U2 had better have another hit album or his star may recede across the water and sink in the Western Sea. Or the long-suffering and richly deserving Dalai Lama or even Archbishop Tutu, though like Bono, he's perhaps a bit overrated.

The Wall Street Journal has a succinct video summary of Vargas' career in a Review & Outlook piece:
Winners of the Nobel Prize in literature are typically distinguished by their literary obscurity, suffocating prose and left-wing politics. But every decade or so the prize-givers get it right: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in 1970, Czesław Miłosz in 1980, Octavio Paz in 1990, V.S. Naipaul in 2001. Right on schedule, this year's prize went to Peru's Mario Vargas Llosa.

Maybe there's a hidden codicil in the bylaws that every decade, like a broken clock, the Swedes fall out of bed without do9ing their usual worship of Satan. For whatever reason, for one short season, there is hope for the benighted Scandanavians.

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