Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Writer Slap Fight! (Is US writing too "insular" to compete with stuffy international writing?)

Look out, American writers hoping to win the Nobel Price for literature (an award that is widely known but perhaps not widely followed): the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Horace Engdahl (and the head of the jury for the prize), believes that American writing is "is too insular and ignorant" to hold its own with Europe in matters of great literature. (Read about the highly amusing writer's insult war that ensued here.)

Sure, I could criticize the insinuation that "insular and ignorant" is anything but an asset for "great" writing; certainly the best writing comes from highly insular pockets of haughty
writers, each insular and ignorant in his or her own sophisticated manner. Again, I could point that out. But as a crass-minded, facetious American I'd rather point out that you'd think a literary representative from a country that looks like a dong would be a little more circumspect in his blanket criticism of nearly 400 million individuals. But pardon me for being insular.

I'd like to further point out that Sweden is known for the following wonderful things and nothing else: rock band The Hives, electronic band The Knife, math metal band Meshuggah, Swedish Fish and Swedish meatballs. So keep your little dong-country criticisms to yourself.

Oh, and we don't name our children Horace. That's game, set and match in any book.

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