October 13th, 2005


Aren't you Somebody?

Harold Pinter has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. I view this as a step up of sorts for the Swedish academy that hands out the goodies. This is the first Nobel laureaute in Lit in years whose name I actually recognize. But then, I couldn't remember anything he'd written.

So I read one of the news accounts on him which summed up his oeuvre. I didn't recognize a single piece. So I guess I mainly recognize him by celebrity allusion -- you know, from other stories in which he is referred to as "the" Harold Pinter, well-known writer.

This is not to diss his actual work, though I suspect from what I've read of Pinter that I wouldn't care for it. But it does seem that he is mainly famous for being famous. His actual impact seems to have been limited to a small set of the artsy elite. Which, I suppose, makes him a typical Nobel laureate.

Ah, me. As the American publisher quoted in J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century put it, "fantasy is mainstream; everything else is cult fiction."