Monday, February 21, 2005

Bureaucracy in Literary Awards

I find the Complete Review's breakdown of how the Man Booker International Prize will turn out to be crazy interesting. I just hope that Milan Kundera wins and not, say, Tomás Eloy Martínez, mostly because Kundera and Marquez are the only authors on the shortlist that I've actually read, and Marquez has already been given eighty million prizes (heck, he's a regular on our high school curriculum! Once an author has reached that point, I think he should be exempt from nominations).

Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being is my favorite book that I've read so far this year. Light and clever with the perfect blend of readability and thought-provocation, but ultimately probably not sufficiently dense for something as prestigious-sounding as the MBIP 2005 (or, as the CR says, "too intellectually playful."). (Although I hope "Booker" is somebody's name and not the etymologic product of an overly-/underly-clever mind.) If he wins, I'll have an excuse to read the rest of his oeuvre.