‘I am a bit angry’, said the Swedish literary critic Ulrika Milles during Swedish television’s broadcast of the announcement of the Nobel Prize in literature for 2010. It took the country’s cultural elite just seconds to realise that a mistake had been made in the Swedish Academy’s voting process: you see, Mario Vargas Llosa, the winner, is no longer a socialist. ‘I lost him when he became a neo-liberal’, complained Milles. Many others echoed her.
People who never voiced any concerns about the politics of other Nobel Prize winners – like Wisława Szymborska, who wrote poetic celebrations of Lenin and Stalin; Günter Grass, who praised Cuba’s dictatorship; Harold Pinter, who supported Slobodan Milošević; José Saramago, who purged anti-Stalinists from the revolutionary newspaper he edited – thought that the Swedish Academy had finally crossed a line. Mario Vargas Llosa’s politics apparently should have disqualified him from any prize considerations. He is after all a classical liberal in the tradition of John Locke and Adam Smith.
Read the rest here at http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9776/
h/t Ghost of a flea