Louis Esterhuizen. Gaan ‘n vroueskrywer vanjaar se Nobelprys vir Letterkunde wen?

Hierdie week is dit weer tyd vir die Nobelprys-toekennings en môre-oggend (Donderdag, 11 Oktober) is dit die beurt van vanjaar se wenner van die 1.2 miljoen USD-prys vir letterkunde om aangekondig te word. Uiteraard wemel die internet van bespiegelinge oor wie vanjaar se uitverkorene gaan wees. Volgens die beroepswedders blyk dit dat die Japannese skrywer, Haruki Murakami, as gunsteling beskou word. Ander name wat sterk figureer is Bob Dylan (weereens, by wyse van eentonige herhaling aangesien hy die afgelope jare al as gunsteling beskou word) en dan ook nog die Chinese skrywer Mo Yan, saam met die Amerikaner Thomas Pynchon.

Die interessantste besinning het ek egter op The Daily Sun se webblad teëgekom waar die beriggewer van AFP van mening is dat vanjaar se prys aan ‘n vroueskrywer behoort te gaan, aangesien daar maar net 12 vroue-laureates was uit die totaal van 108 pryse wat sedert 1901 vir letterkunde toegeken was: “Stockholm’s literary circles are abuzz with speculation about this year’s Nobel Literature Prize, and while it’s notoriously difficult to predict the laureate, some experts are saying it’s time for a woman,” skryf die beriggewer. “Among the women whose names are making the rounds ahead of the Swedish Academy’s announcement on Thursday are Canadian short story writer Alice Munro, Canadian poet Anne Carson (foto), and Egyptian feminist novelist Nawal el Saadawi.”

Die afgelope dekade was vroueskrywers drie keer vereer: Herta Mueller (Duitsland),Doris Lessing (Groot Brittanje) en Elfriede Jelinek (Oostenryk).

Elisabeth Grate, ‘n bekende Sweedse uitgewer van onder andere Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio (wat die prys in 2008 gewen het) se boeke, het soos volg reageer: “I can only guess and speculate, it’s fun and incredibly exciting, One could imagine that it could go to an author from North America, perhaps a man like Don DeLillo or Philip Roth,” het sy aan AFP gesê en bygevoeg: “But ‘it would be nice with a woman’.” Sy is egter van mening dat dit nié ‘n digter gaan wees nie, aangesien die bekende Sweedse digter, Tomas Tranströmer, die prys verlede jaar verower het.

Nog ‘n interessantheid is die Stig Dagerman Society se prys vir letterkunde wat elke jaar enkele dae voor die aankondiging van die Nobelpryswenner, bekend gemaak word, aangesien dié Society die afgelope paar jaar twéé keer in die kol was met hul nominasie: Jelinek (in 2004) en Le Clezio (in 2008). Bengt Soederhaell, voorsitter van die Stig Dagerman Society, het haar soos volg hieromtrent uitgelaat: “I think it’s always time for a woman as there are too few women laureates. Since there are so few women who have won the prize, the male dominance among the laureates could be seen as political, in the same way that very few writers from non-European cultures and languages have won the prize.”

Haar stigting het vanjaar die Egiptiese skrywer Nawal el Saadawi bekroon. “It’s possible (dat el Saadawi die Nobel-laureate gaan wees), it would tie in well with the developments in the Arab world and she’s a woman,” het Grate beaam.

Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey

Maar kom ons veronderstel dat vanjaar se wenner inderdaad ‘n vrou gaan wees en boonop ‘n digter: Wie sal dan as die vernaamste kandidate gereken kan word? Beslis die reeds genoemde Kanadese digter Anne Carson; veral vanweë haar grensverskuiwende bundel Nox wat verlede jaar verskyn het. Dan sekerlik ook die Amerikaanse poet laureate, Natsha Trethewey (alhoewel haar indrukwekkende nuutste bundel, Thrall,  dalk net-net te laat verskyn het vir beoordeling). Of Rita Dove, dalk? Onder die Britte is daar natuurlik die trio bestaande uit Jo Shapcott, Gillian Clarke en Carol Ann Duffy. Maar my voorkeurkandidaat sal nog altyd die Roemeense digter Nina Cassian wees.

En ons sterkste Suid-Afrikaanse kandidate, sonder inagneming van geslag of genre? Sekerlik die Groot Drie: Breyten Breytenbach, Antjie Krog en Athol Fugard. Maar, sug … Oor watter verblykte horisonne droom ek nie nou nie!

In iedergeval, teen môremiddag sal ons weet.

Vir jou leesplesier plaas ek (weer) die openingsgedig uit Natsha Trethewey se nuwe bundel, Thrall, hieronder. (En gaan lees gerus die blog wat ek oor haar geskryf het, indien jy dit vroeër gemis het.)

***

Elegy

for my father

I think by now the river must be thick
          with salmon. Late August, I imagine it

as it was that morning: drizzle needling
          the surface, mist at the banks like a net

settling around us-everything damp
          and shining. That morning, awkward

and heavy in our hip waders, we stalked
          into the current and found our places-

you upstream a few yards, and out
          far deeper. You must remember how

the river seeped in over your boots,
          and you grew heavier with that defeat.

All day I kept turning to watch you, how
          first you mimed our guide’s casting,

then cast your invisible line, slicing the sky
          between us; and later, rod in hand, how

you tried-again and again-to find
          that perfect arc, flight of an insect

skimming the river’s surface. Perhaps
          you recall I cast my line and reeled in

two small trout we could not keep.
          Because I had to release them, I confess,

I thought about the past-working
          the hooks loose, the fish writhing

in my hands, each one slipping away
          before I could let go. I can tell you now

that I tried to take it all in, record it
          for an elegy I’d write-one day-

when the time came. Your daughter,
          I was that ruthless. What does it matter

if I tell you I learned to be? You kept casting
          your line, and when it did not come back

empty, it was tangled with mine. Some nights,
          dreaming, I step again into the small boat

that carried us out and watch the bank receding-
          my back to where I know we are headed.

 

© Natasha Trethewey

 

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6 Kommentare op “Louis Esterhuizen. Gaan ‘n vroueskrywer vanjaar se Nobelprys vir Letterkunde wen?”

  1. Louis Esterhuizen :

    Nog ‘n interessante (en meer objektiewe) beskouing oor die moontlike Nobelprys-kandidate en hul kanse kan in vanoggend se uitgawe van Die Burger gevind word. Gaan kyk by: http://www.dieburger.com/Vermaak/Nuus/Nobel-vir-Murakami-20121009

  2. Fanny Alexander :

    Hulle moet dit nou vir Athol Fugard gee en klaar kry! Net nie vir enige Facebook-dugters nie.

  3. Alfred Schaffer :

    Ek dink dis tog eienaardig dat op die lys met kanshebbers volgens die bookmakers (http://sports.ladbrokes.com/en-gb/Awards/Nobel-Prize-in-LiteratureAwards/Nobel-Prize-in-Literature-t210003519) die name van byvoorbeeld Antjie Krog en Breyten Breytenbach ontbreek.
    Skrywers wat so verby allerlei grense geskryf en gedink het, die (poëtiese) taal asem en betrokkenheid en speelsheid en intelligensie gegee het.
    Dis maar net die Nobel-prys, en wat is pryse nou eintlik, maar dit verstom my tog effens…

  4. Louis Esterhuizen :

    Inderdaad, Alfred. Die afwesigheid van Afrika-skrywers op die bespiegelingslyste is nogal opvallend … So ook die Spaanse letterkundes. Maar ons eie kandidate (en ‘n mens kan sekerlik vir André Brink hierby inreken) is waarskynlik meer en van ‘n beter gehalte as wat baie ander veel groter letterkundes kan spog. Maar nou ja. Soos jy sê: dit bly maar soos om ‘n handvol smarties in die lig te gooi en spesifiek die bloue in jou mond te probeer vang.

  5. Johann de Lange :

    Nobelprys toegeken aan Mo Yan.

  6. Johann de Lange :

    STOCKHOLM, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) — Chinese writer Mo Yan has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, announced Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on Thursday.

    The Nobel Prize in Literature 2012 is awarded to Chinese writer Mo Yan “who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary,” said Englund at a press conference.

    Mo Yan, a pseudonym for Guan Moye, was born in 1955 and grew up in Gaomi in Shandong province in eastern China. His parents were farmers.

    As a 12-year-old during the Cultural Revolution he left school to work, first in agriculture, later in a factory. In 1976 he joined the People’s Liberation Army and during this time began to study literature and write. His first short story was published in a literary journal in 1981.

    “In his writing, Mo Yan draws on his youthful experiences and on settings in the province of his birth. This is apparent in his novel Hong gaoliang jiazu (1987, in English Red Sorghum 1993),” said the academy in a statement of Mo’s biography.

    The book consists of five stories that unfold and interweave in Gaomi in several turbulent decades in the 20th century, with depictions of bandit culture, the Japanese occupation and the harsh conditions endured by poor farm workers, according to the biography. Red Sorghum was successfully filmed in 1987, directed by famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou.

    Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition, the academy commented in the biographical statement.

    In addition to his novels, Mo Yan has published many short stories and essays on various topics. Despite his social criticism, he is seen in his homeland as one of the foremost contemporary authors, the statement added.

    Dozens of his works have been translated into English, French and Japanese and many other languages.

    Last year’s literature prize went to Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer.

    Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist who invented dynamite, established the Nobel Prizes in his will in 1895. The first awards were handed out six years later.

    The awarding ceremony will be held on Dec. 10.

    The winner will win a medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 8 million Swedish Kronor (about 1 million U.S. dollars).

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