Friday, October 14, 2011

Goodbye "Booker".. Welcome "Literature"

Literature in its pure form is back in focus.

Its great to know that there are more folks that think Booker Prize is no longer living up-to its reputation. Some of the queries that I raised in a 2008 blog entry appears to be answered : The new "Literature Prize" should be something to look forward to, given the promises it appears to make.

Readers and Writers, there is still light at the other end. 

A related Link from The Hindu


Mary Ann Chacko said...

Dear Nitin, Thank you for bringing this news to my attention. I didn't know about this! But this is very, very, interesting! So your views on Booker are shared by those who matter!

But you know Nitin, I am left with a few questions myself. Let us talk about just one of the many assumptions-

When someone says that "readability" rather than "artistic excellence" has determined recent Booker nominations, what are the assumptions one is making?
That, something that is readable isn't artistic, for one. I, however, think that is a very elitist view. To go back to Adiga's novel, it was extremely readable but that in no way made it less thought provoking for me. i think it dealt with very complex issues.

Also, these so-called popular novels often might have more reach in terms of making "us see the world a little differently", than so-called "artistic novels" of which one example could be Rushdie's Midnight's Children precisely because they are more "readable" and hence accessible. So I think we should not underestimate their reach and rising popularity in this speed age.

Finally who determines "artistic standards" ?

Nitin, I would love to continue this conversation :)

Nitin Stephen Koshy said...


Talking of Adiga, yes it was definitely readable and dealt with issues of the day. But, where is the literary excellence / composition genius.

Think about a painting such as ones by Leonardo / Constable / van Gogh - why do they stand apart? It necessarily is not just about the viewability. Don't think every second person can appreciate it in the first place. Same goes with wines/poetry...excellence does not necessarily mean it should be appreciated by the mass (?).

For the mass, we would continue to have the Booker ;)