Today, the second most ‘popular’ (among masses) and second most ‘controversial’ (among classes) Nobel Prize will be announced.
The Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy, in two hours from now, will announce the name(s) of the winner(s) of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature (Literature Nobel).
The Nobel Prize in Peace (or Peace Nobel) is geopolitically the most influential award in the world that draws global attention to an issue the individual(s)/organization(s) is working for. The implicit or explicit political posturing associated with the Peace Nobel draws plaudits or ire based on stakeholders involved and based on the geopolitical contexts pushed.
And Literature Nobel, too, pushes for controversies for similar reasons – political stand or political bias – added with ‘other than literature’ factors like Sweden bias or Europe bias or English bias or ‘fear of controversy bias’ – while announcing a winner – and its most famous (or notorious) example is 1970’s decision to award Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a USSR dissident, and a famous anti-Soviet Union novelist and historian.
The Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy – a 230 year old literary institution founded by the Swedish king – based on geopolitical considerations (or equations), at times, names a winner to give message to a ruling regime – because the larger (or the more powerful) world community feels so (or lobbies for that).
Literature Nobel has also been and ‘left, right and centre’ criticised for being too Sweden-centric or too Europe-centric. The trend (or the mentality) has led to many decisions which the critics have found too casual and light. While very few people knew about Herta Muller, the 2009 winner, the 2004 decision to award Elfriede Jelinek came as a shocker to many.
But the buzz around the award remains. Literature Nobel is still the singular global literature award that bring its recipient a chance to gain worldwide exposure – if it is not already there. And we hope, in a multipolar, multi-block world, we will have less of ‘other than political bias’ affected decisions – with a wider, multi-language panorama.
Every year it happens, the buzz around these two most talked about Nobel Prizes, Peace and Literature.
The buzz starts taking root soon after the nomination starts and starts taking a definitive shape once the nominations are closed and the concerned Nobel Committees short-lists that ‘small and final list’ from out of hundreds of nominations. It starts peaking around in August and reaches its crescendo in the week prior to the announcements in October.
And that October day is today – in two hours from now.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/