Archive for October 7th, 2010

Quiet coup: Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa wins the Nobel

Thursday, October 7th, 2010
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A bride at last...

By now everyone has heard what I learned at 4.30 this morning: sometimes even perennial bridesmaids catch the bouquet.  Mario Vargas Llosa has been on the lists for so long that no one even noticed him somewhere midway on the betting lists of Ladbrokes (on Sept. 29 he ranked 40th in a field of 75).

This is a safe, uncontroversial choice for the Nobels —  an eminent, 74-year-old writer with a lifetime of acclaimed work behind him.

This means Ladbrokes can pay all its bets now.  It means that Ted Gioia probably won’t be penning his Nobels from an alternative universe.  And Néstor Amarilla, the 30-year-old Paraguayan who had an unexpected international spotlight thrown on him for reasons we have yet to fathom (he is, in everyone’s opinion, far too young for the Nobel, despite the excellence of his work), returns to his pen in peace.  And Bjørg-the-Cyborg gets a well-deserved rest this year.

And Amazon.com wins, too:  I’ve ordered two books by Tomas Tranströmer‘s The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems; Saved by a Poem, the only book in English by Néstor Amarilla, and Seamus Heaney‘s Stepping Stones and Human Chain for good measure.

Meanwhile, the Nobel poetry drought continues.