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THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE JUDGES OUT OF BREATH

by Jay

It's hard to believe! The chairman of the highly prestigious Man booker Prize recently declared that he is decided to free his jury of the weight of the reputation in order to, according to him, “look for books that you can make a sustained critical argument about.”

This surprising revelation--that would be regarded by each deamanding and enthusiast reader as a real tautology--drives us to wonder about the imperative necessity of such an urgent remind.

{{A Gold Medal for the reactionary triviality}}

Isn’t it a way for Peter Stothard, the chairman of judges editor of the {Times Literary Supplement } to recognize, by a thinly veiled but splendid denial, that until now, his jury was only motivated by the preoccupations of fame, far from slightest reflections of criticism?

One cannot fail to be surprised by his trivial conception of literature and work of the writer. Does he seriously think that a woman novelist like Zadie Smith works ardently on a manuscript for several years to have the opportunity to supply holidaymakers with nothing to do, lacking in entertainment and substance, with a beach book?

No. It is to be feared that this declaration hides a powerful call to order of a Conservative conception of the literature in which style nor intelligence would play a part--let alone perspicacity--for fear that it might lead the way to an anti-establishment world-view.

So we can reasonably wonder if the President of the Classical Association is ideally placed to understand the literary modernity, as we find it under the pen of a novelist of Jamaican origin like Zadie Smith, unless apart from mere value judgments like 'wow, I enjoyed it', or 'wow, that was terrible', Sir Peter Stothard considers that her writing or reputation are not worth the detour…

Let us wish to the jury of the Man Booker Prize to succeed to roll up his sleeves, to remove his blinkers and to come down from his pedestal in order to announce us a list of prizewinners that would not disgrace sensibility and intelligence, what no one criterion could ensure it, not even the one of eccentricity!

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