Why it was a mistake to give Annie Ernaux the Nobel

La escritora francesa Annie Ernaux, Premio Nobel de Literatura 2022 (REUTERS)
La escritora francesa Annie Ernaux, Premio Nobel de Literatura 2022 (REUTERS)

I’m going to start by saying that The years it’s a good book, and i didn’t read The event. When that novel came out, I had just finished We are Bethlehemthe chronicle of Ana Correa about the tragedy —the violence of the State— of a 25-year-old girl from Tucumán who suffered a miscarriage and was imprisoned, accused of having provoked it. And very shortly before, she had read the autobiographical novel you have to lookwhere the Russian Anna Starobinets tells of the Kafkaesque adventures she had to endure to interrupt the pregnancy of a fetus with a congenital malformation that was not going to live. The two books, although very valuable, were too tragic and violent; I needed to change readings. who read The event They say it’s very good.

No one doubts that he Nobel laureate is political. We Argentines repeat like a mantra that they denied it to Borges for the unfortunate visit to Pinochet in 1976. In the same way, we could say that other authors, such as Boris Pasternak y Orhan Pamuk, received it for their commitment. It is known that in the case of Pasternak intervened the CIA. The rule for a candidate to receive the award is that it has been published in their country, and, in full Cold Warthe Americans made a foray into the Soviet Union to achieve that Doctor Zhivago had a small run on Russian soil. Pamuk received the Nobel Prize two years after Turkey condemned him for speaking about the Armenian genocide.

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In a devious reading, it could even be said that the Nobel Prize for the North American poet Louise luck in 2020 it was a kind of message to Donald Trump. They gave it to someone who had received the Medal of Merit in the Arts in hands of Barack Obama.

A photo of Mahsa Amini at a protest march over her death (REUTERS/Bing Guan)
A photo of Mahsa Amini at a protest march over her death (REUTERS/Bing Guan)

The award to Ernaux It comes in the midst of the Iranian women’s rebellion. A few weeks ago, the murder at the hands of the police in Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who had been arrested for wearing the veil incorrectly, provoked a reaction in Iran and the rest of the world, which seems to change the world. It’s not the first time women have flipped a regimen. There they are, for example, those who lit the fuse of the Russian Revolutionas it tells Olga Viglieca in The workers who turned the Tsar. But if the swedes try to join the feminist wave, not only does it seem too elliptical a message, but they repeat a movement that they had already made twenty years agowhen they awarded Elfriede Jelinek in 2004.

Despite its internationalist image, The Nobel is the prize that a central country gives to writers from central countries. Throughout history they have received it: fourteen French —including the current winner—, ten Americans, eight British, seven Swedes, six Germans and Italians, and so on.

And, although last year it was won by a Tanzanian, Abdulrazak Gurnah He has lived in England for decades. It is striking how the Swedish Academy has closed ranks in recent years. Since the beginning of the 21st century, only three winners are outside the exclusion zone: the south african John M. Coetzeea Peruvian man Vargas Llosa —who, worse than worse, also has Spanish citizenship— and the Chinese You that. So much so that César Airawhich for years appeared as the great Argentine hope, is no longer even in the bookmakers.

Salman Rushdie is the subject of a fatwā calling for his assassination since 1989
Salman Rushdie is the subject of a fatwā calling for his assassination since 1989

If every Nobel is political, today they missed the opportunity to make a declaration of principles. Even if they thought of giving it to a European. When in five or six years they reward the Russian Vladimir Sorokinwe will all say that it came too late: the time was now, in the midst of the invasion of Ukraine.

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But, above all, this was the year Salman Rushdie was supposed to receive it. After the attack he suffered a few months ago—and after living under threat for three decades!—He deserved unrestricted and unconditional support. The Nobel is too important not to intervene. Perhaps he lacked courage. “Human beings are the only animals that kill for ideas,” he says. Siri Hustvedt in the trial Mirages of certainty. How good it would have been if the Nobel Prize supported literature and life.


Annie Ernaux: five books available to read now to the new winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, even if they are not in bookstores
When the Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux spoke with Infobae: “The past is never past, even less so if it is violent and murky”
Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux tells the truth of her life without hesitation and in an almost pornographic way, but then you have to digest it


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