Posted 12 октября 2020,, 11:12

Published 12 октября 2020,, 11:12

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:36

Praise of dullness: what is now given the Nobel in literature

Praise of dullness: what is now given the Nobel in literature

12 октября 2020, 11:12
This year's Nobel Prize clearly indicates a reappraisal of human values, when an unstructured, rapidly chaosizing world resembles hallucinations, bad poetry and vague political proclamations.

Alina Vitukhnovskaya, writer

A few days before the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded, I wrote about who I would like to see a nominee.

Of the contenders known to me, I would like Stephen King to receive it - this Mamleev without Mamleevism, Dostoevsky without reflections, a pop author who does not spoil the pop, but elevates him - a mystical realist without morality, an asserter of the apologetics of evil, its secret and explicit mechanisms, an author who writes easily, which is probably unacceptable for intellectuals and especially the intelligentsia - she needs it to be hard and boring. Note that they often say “mastered” than “read” about books. And I really would not want to receive it - Pelevin, Kundera, Ulitskaya, Houellebek, Rowling, Murakami.

However, the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to the American poet and essayist Louise Gluck (Glick). Adjunct Professor at Yale University and laureate of several literary awards. In 1971, she became a poetry teacher at Goddard College, Vermont. In 1984, Louise became a senior lecturer in the English department at Williams College, Massachusetts. Subsequently, she was a visiting professor at Stanford, Boston and Iowa universities.

A prize of this status, given to a deliberately average author, though very well known in academic circles, tells us that art is over. With culture too. Be content with what you have. Appreciate the average, otherwise you will be politically incorrect. Love the bad, otherwise they will be branded as haters. Be tolerant - this is a guarantee of your food.

Of course not, because it would be too easy. Just as true art no longer really needs a spectator, so civilization does not need a partner (culture). What is happening does not carry deep meanings, except that it is a time marker. Marker and devaluation tool. The question is - is depreciation a negative factor or some kind of criterion of truth?

Rhymed poems, in principle, are outdated, but Russia has its own infantile rules and the local public is dissatisfied exclusively with this fact. Louise Gluck. A strange choice from the point of view of rationality, but quite natural, given the Stevenking haze into which being is plunged.

An unstructured, rapidly chaosizing world should resemble hallucinations, bad poetry and vague political proclamations. Poems are really bad. Not even bad, but mediocre, which is even worse.

The secret of the author's success, perhaps, lies in the new norms of political correctness. Many feminist moments, many references to the cultivated theme of trauma. Everything is as it should be. Writing feminist poetry is like writing communist propaganda. This is not appropriate. Feminist poetry can be good too, though. After all, Mayakovsky's propaganda campaigns were good.

Here is an example of a feminist-traumatic poem translated by Olga Bragina, from those that I managed to read:

"The first temporary stay of Persephone

in hell keep pawing

scientists arguing about

feelings of a virgin:

whether she was complicit in her rape,

or her stoned was taken against her will,

as often happens with modern girls.

Since the return of the beloved is known

does not fix

loss of a lover: Persephone

coming home

stained with red juice, like

the heroine of Hawthorne's novel -

i'm not sure if

that's the right word: is the earth

"Home" for Persephone? Is she at home, for example,

in the bed of god? Or she

homeless everywhere? Perhaps she -

a born wanderer, in other words -


a copy of his mother, less

crippled by ideas of causality?"

On the one hand, as I wrote above, the world is becoming more chaotic, on the other, more rational. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded today to the UN Food Program. In a way, this reminds me of Brezhnevism, but already a different, infernal one, with exactly the same Stevenking scale. In fact, the UN gave the prize to themselves, but I believe that it is for the cause. Not for hunger in Russia to give it to someone from our government.

In general, it is worth noting the unexpected disregard for the post-Soviet space and Russia in particular. None of our authors or politicians have received the attention of a prestigious international institution.

The prize for food, as it were, emphasizes the general humanity of our time as a whole and leads us to new sacred values. What? If the world is desacralized, it must be re-sacralized. Why not start with food? Unlike the ancient and other gods, it not only exists in reality, but is also useful.

However, even the most average poet has genius poems. I found one with Louise Gluck. Maybe he alone was worth the Nobel Prize.


You see, they have no judgment.

So it is natural that they should drown,

first the ice taking them in

and then, all winter, their wool scarves

floating behind them as they sink

until at last they are quiet.

And the pond lifts them in its manifold dark arms.

But death must come to them differently,

so close to the beginning.

As though they had always been

blind and weightless. Therefore

the rest is dreamed, the lamp,

the good white cloth that covered the table,

their bodies.

And yet they hear the names they used

like lures slipping over the pond:

What are you waiting for

come home, come home, lost

in the waters, blue and permanent.