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Thursday, 9 October 2008

Le Clezio Wins Nobel For Literature

Le Clezio who? No clue. The English world - recently chastised for its insularity - may scratch its collective head over the latest winner of the Nobel Prize. Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio is not, I would have thought, a household name in Britain, or America. That may be part of the point - though I lived in Paris for several years, and did not encounter his name there, either. Following him on Amazon, one can quickly see, despite a few translations, his work is mostly out of print, out of bounds, off-limit, for most Anglo-saxon readers. "J. M. G. le Cl├ęzio" resists being absorbed into the celebrity world of publishing, prizes, and parties, that typifies a kind of Americanized hegemony of the bookworld (or so it might seem to some jury members). However, despite the undoubted talents of this thrillingly obscure (to me) Francophone writer, I wonder how long Margaret Atwood will have to wait, to be recognised as one of the major post-colonial literary figures of the past 40 years?
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