It’s So Hard Sometimes. No, Really.

October 7th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

It’s like you’re handed cheesecake the day you start South Beach. You wanna, you wanna, you wanna…and yet you’re still believing you can lose weight. Sure, an offer of sugar and cream cheese and crushed graham crackers (actually, we have no clue) after four weeks of no carbs can destroy the most dedicated of dieters, but on that first day? No. You still believe you can be the svelte person of your imagination (we would suggest eating the cheesecake remains the best option, but suspect it might weaken our argument, such as it is).

The news* has been rife with speculation this week: it’s the Year of the Woman. Also, volcanos will erupt. And, unlike predictions that the A’s will win the World Series this year** (jury is still out on the volcano thing), it turned out to be true. A woman won the Nobel Prize for Literature. And not just any woman, but one who left an entire literary community scrambling to establish “I knew her when” street cred. Yeah, we all know everything Elfriede Jelinek ever wrote.

Except, right, her win was greated with a great big “huh” and mad scrambling on the Internet. Which maybe is how it should be. Yesterday we noted that fiction (she’s a poet, based on what we’ve learned from other sources, but the analogy holds) cannot depend on mainstream sources for publicity. Heck, if a Nobel Prize doesn’t get your name out there, what will?

Should we mention the amazing statistic we learned today? Ten women have won this award. Over fifty percent of the human population and this? Gee, what’s wrong with this picture? One could almost conclude that men are better writers. But how is that possible? Really? If one were cynical, one would think, wow, the New York Times Book Review is male-centric, too. Connection? Surely not.

If we weren’t so lazy, we’d call for an analysis of judge gender/book gender.

* – Everything’s relative.

** – Seriously, stop hoping, it’s not gonna happen. No matter what.

File Under: Square Pegs