Thursday, October 2, 2008

American Literature for Dummies?

One of the judges of the Nobel Prize for Literature has come out and said that basically Americans have no chance at the prize because they are "too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture". He also said that Americans are "too isolated".

I'll admit that most of what I read is not by Americans. I usually find the subject matter not to my taste. Much of American literature seems to focus on the darkest things in our lives and our souls -- drugs, rape, abuse, depression, murder. Life is too short to spend time immersed in these negative things. Although, I would venture that if I read books by many of the European Nobel Laureates, I wouldn't necessarily be in love with them either.

Here are some American authors that I do enjoy: Gregory Maguire, L. Frank Baum, Willa Cather, Elizabeth Peters, Matthew Pearl and of course Edgar Allan Poe. Most of these authors would not ever be considered for a Nobel Prize but I think that they are very original and interesting authors.

What do you think? Is American literature up to par with the rest of the world?

Living in one world but reading in another,

1 comment:

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