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Mixed Race Refugee from Black Genocidal Decolonization Wins Nobel Literature Prize for Being Black and and Having Been Colonized
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From the New York Times news section, an explanation of the life and works of the Zanzibar-born winner of the 2021 Nobel literary prize that attempts to compress his complex identity into the usual lowbrow Black vs. white paradigm of the times.

Abdulrazak Gurnah Is Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature

The Tanzanian writer, the first Black winner since Toni Morrison, was honored for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism.”

Uhhhm, just looking at him, I’d guess about half of his ancestry is due to Arab colonialism in Zanzibar.

In general, the slave-trading Arab elite of Zanzibar had black ancestry as well, which provided resistance to malaria, allowing mixed race Arab and Swahili speakers to raid and trade for slaves on the mainland.

It’s hard to get a straight story from the many Nobel news articles, but I’m guessing Gurnah’s from Zanzibar’s old privileged part-black/part-Arab middle class, rather like Freddie Mercury’s family was part of the Parsi and general South Asian bourgeois of Zanzibar. Both the Mercury family and Gurnah went into refuge in England around the time of the Soviet-aligned Black Power massacre of 1964 that overthrew the Arab-dominated newly independent government. (Here’s my review of the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic.) From the documentary Africa Addio:

Back to the NYT:

By Alexandra Alter and Alex Marshall
Oct. 7, 2021

Growing up in Zanzibar, an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, Abdulrazak Gurnah never considered the possibility that he might one day be a writer.

“It never occurred to me,” he said in an interview. “It wasn’t something you could say as you were growing up, ‘I want to be a writer.’” He assumed he would become “something useful, like an engineer.”

Gurnah evidently came from the upper ranks of Zanzibar society where a bright lad like himself was expected to become an engineer.

Then, in 1964, a violent uprising forced Gurnah, at age 18, to flee to England. Miserable, poor, homesick, he began to write scraps about home in his diary, then longer entries, then stories about other people. Those scattered reflections, the habit of writing to understand and document his own dislocation, eventually gave rise to his first novel, then nine more — works that explore the lingering trauma of colonialism, war and displacement.

Zanzibar Arabs’ mass grave, 1964

But not the acute trauma of decolonization and Black Power that actually forced him into exile in England, where his skills with the English language, acquired in the last years of English colonization, led him to the Nobel.

Perhaps because he’s part black, Gurnah wasn’t killed in the January 1964 massacre of Arabs and Indians, but he got out to England a few years later when he turned 18. He’s probably more of an economic/bourgeois/political refugee who could have accommodated himself to the new pro-Soviet black Marxist order with years of subservient behavior.

But why bother when he could get into England? Stick it out in your dystopian black run leftist homeland or move to Beatles-era England?

Is that supposed to be a tough choice.

Gurnah seems like a thoughtful and reasonably even-handed guy from reading descriptions of his novels. But everybody wants to shove his complicated life story into the dominant Black vs. white paradigm.

“The thing that motivated the whole experience of writing for me was this idea of losing your place in the world,” he said.

On Thursday, Gurnah was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, widely regarded as the most prestigious literary award in the world, for “his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.”

Gurnah, 72, is the first Black writer to receive the prize since Toni Morrison in 1993, and some observers saw his selection as a long overdue corrective after years of European and American Nobel laureates. He is the first African to win the award in more than a decade, preceded by Wole Soyinka of Nigeria in 1986, Naguib Mahfouz of Egypt, who won in 1988; and the South African winners Nadine Gordimer in 1991 and John Maxwell Coetzee in 2003. The British-Zimbabwean novelist Doris Lessing won in 2007.

Amid the heated speculation in the run-up to this year’s award, the literature prize was called out for lacking diversity among its winners. The journalist Greta Thurfjell, writing in Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish newspaper, noted that 95 of the 117 past Nobel laureates were from Europe or North America, and that only 16 winners had been women. “Can it really continue like that?” she asked.

In his 10 novels, Gurnah has often explored the themes of exile, identity and belonging. They include “Memory of Departure,” “Pilgrims Way” and “Dottie,” which all deal with the immigrant experience in Britain; “Paradise,” shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994, about a boy in an East African country scarred by colonialism

Some of his interest is in the effects of Omani Arab colonization of Zanzibar 1000 years ago.

It appears that mainland blacks got themselves across the 15 mile wide expanse of ocean between the the mainland and the island of Zanzibar because they were there already when the Omanis arrived, although perhaps they were brought as slaves a couple of thousand by middle eastern or South Asian mariners?

; and “Admiring Silence,” about a young man who leaves Zanzibar for England, where he marries and becomes a teacher. His most recent work, “Afterlives,” explores the generational effects of German colonialism in Tanzania, and how it divided communities.

Anders Olsson, the chair of the committee that awards the prize, said at the news conference on Thursday that Gurnah “is widely recognized as one of the world’s more pre-eminent post-colonial writers.” Gurnah “has consistently and with great compassion, penetrated the effects of colonialism in East Africa and its effects on the lives of uprooted and migrating individuals,” he added.

The characters in his novels, Olsson said, “find themselves in the gulf between cultures and continents, between the life left behind and the life to come, confronting racism and prejudice, but also compelling themselves to silence the truth or reinventing biography to avoid conflict with reality.”

Gurnah’s first language is Swahili, but he adopted English as his literary language, with his prose often inflected with traces of Swahili, Arabic and German. He drew on the imagery and stories from the Quran, as well as from Arabic and Persian poetry, particularly “The Arabian Nights.” …

But despite being hailed as “one of Africa’s greatest living writers” by the author Giles Foden, Gurnah’s books have rarely received the kind of commercial reception that some previous laureates have.

Lola Shoneyin, the director of the Ake Arts and Book Festival in Nigeria, said that she expected the Nobel Prize would draw a larger audience for Gurnah on the African continent, where his work is not very widely known, and that she hoped his historical fiction might inspire younger generations to reflect more deeply on their countries’ pasts.

… In both his scholarly work and his fiction, Gurnah has tried to uncover “the way in which colonialism transformed everything in the world, and people who are living through it are still processing that experience and some of its wounds,” he said.

The same themes that occupied him early in his career, when he was processing the effects of his own displacement, feel equally urgent today, he said, as both Europe and America have been gripped with a backlash against immigrants and refugees, and political instability and war have driven more people from their home countries. “It’s a kind of meanness and miserliness on the part of these prosperous countries that say, we don’t want these people,” he said. “They’re getting these literally handfuls of people compared to European migrations.”

The Scramble for Africa justifies the Scramble for Europe.

Freddie Mercury drew a somewhat less hackneyed lesson from his family’s close escape from genocidal black decolonizers, becoming a big fan of the British empire and its monarch (as suggested by the name he chose for his band, Queen).

Though Gurnah hasn’t lived in Tanzania since he was a teenager, the country continues to inspire him.

He didn’t live in Tanzania until April 1964 when the black revolutionary government merged Zanzibar with Tanganyika, and merged the names to create “Tanzania.”

 
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  1. Now he just needs to die so they can put up plaques everywhere he lived.

    • Replies: @Clyde
    @Rob McX


    Now he just needs to die so they can put up plaques everywhere he lived.
     
    If I am visiting and walking around London, yeah, I would go see Jimi Hendrix's plaques. "Jimi got stoned here" "Jimi ate his first chips butty here" "Jimi told Eric Burdon to eff off here"

    Replies: @Cortes

    , @Wade Hampton
    @Rob McX

    Plaques for semi-blacks?

    Replies: @MC

  2. Greta Thurfjell

    What is it about Swedish girls named Greta whose last names start with Th that turns them into such insufferable woke scolds?

  3. Bring back Rigoberta Menchú. She was a lot more interesting than this jamoke, who I never heard of. FWIW the Associated Press article describes him as a Arab Muslim.

  4. It’s too bad Tyson got me too’d because Cosmos rehash ought to be worthy of a Physics Nobel otherwise.

    • Replies: @40 Lashes Less One
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    Better yet, they should give it to Mike Tyson just for the hell of it.

  5. @Rob McX
    Now he just needs to die so they can put up plaques everywhere he lived.

    Replies: @Clyde, @Wade Hampton

    Now he just needs to die so they can put up plaques everywhere he lived.

    If I am visiting and walking around London, yeah, I would go see Jimi Hendrix’s plaques. “Jimi got stoned here” “Jimi ate his first chips butty here” “Jimi told Eric Burdon to eff off here”

    • Replies: @Cortes
    @Clyde

    Like this?

    https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4860/46160305341_c11b8b0934_z.jpg

    Replies: @Clyde, @Inselaffen

  6. @Rob McX
    Now he just needs to die so they can put up plaques everywhere he lived.

    Replies: @Clyde, @Wade Hampton

    Plaques for semi-blacks?

    • Replies: @MC
    @Wade Hampton

    Alfreds for Half-breds

  7. A white man working all summer on a fishing boat outside of Delacroix would be about that dark.

    • Replies: @Trelane
    @Trelane

    It did happen in 2016 that a man such as this won the Nobel in literature

    , @Gary in Gramercy
    @Trelane

    "That dark"? You mean navy blue, as in "Tangled Up in Blue"?

  8. @Emil Nikola Richard
    It's too bad Tyson got me too'd because Cosmos rehash ought to be worthy of a Physics Nobel otherwise.

    Replies: @40 Lashes Less One

    Better yet, they should give it to Mike Tyson just for the hell of it.

  9. ‘…The Tanzanian writer, the first Black winner since Toni Morrison, was honored for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism.”..’

    At a guess, his grandparents would have taken considerable offense if you’d called them ‘black.’

    But then, they may very well have met their end at the hands of actual blacks in 1964, so perhaps it’s academic.

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @Colin Wright

    I know a light-skinned Indian-African woman from Tanzania who is culturally very Indian. I asked her what foods are common in Tanzania and she mentioned poppadom and pilau.

  10. Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Conrad, Greene, Updike, Roth, Burgos…nothing to see here.

    Oh well, the times they are a changin’.

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @SafeNow

    Pearl Buck.

    Replies: @SafeNow

    , @theMann
    @SafeNow

    Not to mention Robert Frost, Willa Cather, Pierre Boulle, Somerset Maugham, Vassily Grossman and Virginia Woolf......


    On the other hand, Bob Dylan and Louise Gluck have won.


    The Literature Nobel is a joke.

    , @Art Deco
    @SafeNow

    I think there's a rule against awarding prizes posthumously.

    Replies: @SafeNow

  11. ‘Gurnah, 72, is the first Black writer to receive the prize since Toni Morrison in 1993…’

    Well, he’s not really black — more of a Zanzibar Arab.

    As such, he’s not the first anything. Camus preceded him as the first African Nobel laureate in literature — back in 1957. Camus was born in Algiers.

    Are we supposed to see a distinction between French colonialism and Omani colonialism?

    • Replies: @GetReal
    @Colin Wright

    The only real distinction there is between Camus and Gurnah is that the former had zero genetic origin in the colonized land while the latter is mixed between colonizer/colonized

  12. OT:
    Media kvetching about no more Romanian and Polish fuel truck drivers will destroy the UK economy because of Brexit turned out to be self-fulfilling prophecy. The media induced panic buying which caused the mass fuel shortages across Britain, supply was down but only marginally. (And given the lower amount of movement due to covid, more than enough)

    https://twitter.com/i/events/1446145721405747211

    For a few weeks now they’ve been talking about emergency training for new fuel truck drivers and it was all bullshit.

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
    @Altai

    I know a guy who is the safety director for one of the bigger Chicago area tanker carriers. You do not want midwits doing the job of delivering fuel for a lot of reasons.

    , @Triteleia Laxa
    @Altai

    I'm sure a lot of non-political people saw it as a complete disaster that it looked like wages would have to rise for ordinary jobs. They must have been thinking "please import hundreds of thousands of people so no one has to pay me more."

    People, including journalists, who engage in politics as therapy, 95%+ of the politically engaged, can't help themselves from advancing the argument for the other side every time time they open their mouths. In this case, it was particularly obvious and hilarious. "But wages will have to rise!"

    Yes

  13. @SafeNow
    Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Conrad, Greene, Updike, Roth, Burgos…nothing to see here.

    Oh well, the times they are a changin’.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @theMann, @Art Deco

    Pearl Buck.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
    @S Johnson

    I was listing writers who were overlooked and did NOT win the Nobel.
    Pearl Buck did win it. But yes, a great writer, thanks for mentioning her.

    .

    Replies: @S Johnson

  14. @Colin Wright
    '...The Tanzanian writer, the first Black winner since Toni Morrison, was honored for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism.”..'

    At a guess, his grandparents would have taken considerable offense if you'd called them 'black.'

    But then, they may very well have met their end at the hands of actual blacks in 1964, so perhaps it's academic.

    Replies: @S Johnson

    I know a light-skinned Indian-African woman from Tanzania who is culturally very Indian. I asked her what foods are common in Tanzania and she mentioned poppadom and pilau.

  15. Gurnah shows in ‘Paradise’ that the corruption of trade into subjection and enslavement pre-dates European colonization, and that in East Africa servitude and slavery have always been woven into the social fabric.”

    The tale is narrated so gently by 12-year-old Yusuf, lovingly describing gardens and assorted notions of paradise and their corruption as he is pawned between masters and travels to different parts of the interior from the coast. Yusuf concludes that the brutality of German colonialism is still preferable to the ruthless exploitation by the Arabs.

    https://www.pri.org/stories/2021-10-07/nobel-prize-winner-abdulrazak-gurnah-introduction-man-and-his-writing

  16. • Replies: @Mike Tre
    @Dave Pinsen

    She might be the reason he went homo.

    Replies: @West reanimator, @YetAnotherAnon

  17. There’s a decided irony in the twin facts that Gurnah was driven from his homeland for not being black — and that now the New York Times is celebrating him for being black.

    …it’s also a comment on the rapidly falling standards of the Times — that they could be so ignorant of the most basic facts about the life of their subject.

    • Replies: @Lurker
    @Colin Wright

    Some vague parallels with Rhianna. Allegedly bullied for being white(ish) as a kid back home in Barbados. Feted as black(ish) in the world beyond.

  18. @S Johnson
    @SafeNow

    Pearl Buck.

    Replies: @SafeNow

    I was listing writers who were overlooked and did NOT win the Nobel.
    Pearl Buck did win it. But yes, a great writer, thanks for mentioning her.

    .

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @SafeNow

    I haven’t personally read her but the point was that even in 1938 the criticism that the Nobel Prize for Literature was too biased towards identity and personal background was valid, with the award going to a Presbyterian lady whose middle-brow historical fiction about China is almost totally unread today.


    By whatever process the Swedish Academy decided that Pearl Buck made the most significant contribution to literature of all authors living in 1938, the choice had a strangely liberating effect on the whole prize system. There was always something odious in the idea that a group of Swedes sitting in solemn conclave was in a position to decide who was the best writer of English, or the one most worthy to be honoured. After Pearl Buck one saw it as a lottery.
     

    Replies: @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @S. Anonyia, @epebble, @Art Deco

  19. So is the name “Abdulrazak” like the Tanzanian version of Fred or George? Or is it more the equivalent of pretentious SWPL names like Ainsley or Caleb or Kennedy or Mason?

    Also, Abdulrazak looks like the love child of Morgan Freeman and Gary Sinise.

  20. @Dave Pinsen
    https://twitter.com/crockpics/status/1445973408735444993?s=21

    Replies: @Mike Tre

    She might be the reason he went homo.

    • Replies: @West reanimator
    @Mike Tre

    You're probably joking, but given what we know about the link between homosexuality and child sex abuse, you might be correct.

    Replies: @Fun To Do Bad Things, @Mike Tre

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    @Mike Tre

    She must be the woman he sang about.


    I was just a skinny lad
    Never knew no good from bad
    But I knew life before I left my nursery
    Left alone with big fat Fanny
    She was such a naughty nanny
    Heap big woman, you made a bad boy out of me
     
    Unfortunately the song was written by Brian May. Maybe Freddie M disclosed infantile goings-on and Brian made a song out of it. Mercury certainly belted it out, but he did that with everything.
  21. @Trelane
    A white man working all summer on a fishing boat outside of Delacroix would be about that dark.

    Replies: @Trelane, @Gary in Gramercy

    It did happen in 2016 that a man such as this won the Nobel in literature

  22. Exactly why did the British Empire see the need to control Zanzibar? Or any of subSaharan Africa (outside of SA) for that matter, where they did not settle, they barely “exploited” and in fact, lost money; they simply ruled. The British can blame their Colonial Office and their absurd ambitions. A UK federated or even more loosely confederated, with Australia, NZ and Canada alone would have been a world power.

    • Agree: Lurker
    • Replies: @Houston 1992
    @2BR

    The passage to India would have been complicated by a German U boat base in Zanzibar.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

    , @for-the-record
    @2BR

    Exactly why did the British Empire see the need to control Zanzibar?

    The initial reason, at least in part, was to put an end to the Arab slave trade:

    "The United Kingdom's early interest in Zanzibar was motivated by both commerce and the determination to end the slave trade.[18] In 1822, the British signed the first of a series of treaties with Sultan Said to curb this trade, but not until 1876 was the sale of slaves finally prohibited. Under strong British pressure, the slave trade was officially abolished in 1876, but slavery itself remained legal in Zanzibar until 1897" (Wiki)

  23. @Altai
    OT:
    Media kvetching about no more Romanian and Polish fuel truck drivers will destroy the UK economy because of Brexit turned out to be self-fulfilling prophecy. The media induced panic buying which caused the mass fuel shortages across Britain, supply was down but only marginally. (And given the lower amount of movement due to covid, more than enough)

    https://twitter.com/i/events/1446145721405747211

    For a few weeks now they've been talking about emergency training for new fuel truck drivers and it was all bullshit.

    Replies: @Mike Tre, @Triteleia Laxa

    I know a guy who is the safety director for one of the bigger Chicago area tanker carriers. You do not want midwits doing the job of delivering fuel for a lot of reasons.

    • Agree: Adam Smith
  24. Are we sure that Queen was named after the Royal highness kind of queen?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @JMcG

    It's almost as if Freddie Mercury was a clever man who could keep multiple meanings in his head at once.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Pericles

  25. I read Paradise a long time ago, in the early 1990s. The language didn’t sparkle, but it was an interesting tale from an interesting place—the German East Africa of a century ago. It concerns an African boy who is sold into servitude, a variety of slavery, by his uncle, to the creditor, to settle a debt. The Zanzibar of those days was very much a polyglot, trading port society, and it’s all about that.

    I may pull it out of the bookshelf and re-read it.

  26. Arab colonialism in Zanzibar

    Zanzibar is 2% of Tanzania by population, so how come they get equal billing in the country’s name? And look at Zanzibar’s flag, with its aren’t-we-special air:

    his first novel, then nine more — works that explore

    Exactly how do novels “explore” anything? And isn’t that word itself colonialist, indeed, precolonialist? As in looking for savages?

  27. @JMcG
    Are we sure that Queen was named after the Royal highness kind of queen?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    It’s almost as if Freddie Mercury was a clever man who could keep multiple meanings in his head at once.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer



    Are we sure that Queen was named after the Royal highness kind of queen?
     
    It’s almost as if Freddie Mercury was a clever man who could keep multiple meanings in his head at once.
     
    https://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-do-i-contradict-myself-very-well-then-i-contradict-myself-i-am-large-i-contain-multitudes-walt-whitman-31-38-44.jpg
    , @Pericles
    @Steve Sailer

    Ambiguity is raciss and the Ivy League will not have it.

  28. @Steve Sailer
    @JMcG

    It's almost as if Freddie Mercury was a clever man who could keep multiple meanings in his head at once.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Pericles

    Are we sure that Queen was named after the Royal highness kind of queen?

    It’s almost as if Freddie Mercury was a clever man who could keep multiple meanings in his head at once.

  29. @SafeNow
    @S Johnson

    I was listing writers who were overlooked and did NOT win the Nobel.
    Pearl Buck did win it. But yes, a great writer, thanks for mentioning her.

    .

    Replies: @S Johnson

    I haven’t personally read her but the point was that even in 1938 the criticism that the Nobel Prize for Literature was too biased towards identity and personal background was valid, with the award going to a Presbyterian lady whose middle-brow historical fiction about China is almost totally unread today.

    By whatever process the Swedish Academy decided that Pearl Buck made the most significant contribution to literature of all authors living in 1938, the choice had a strangely liberating effect on the whole prize system. There was always something odious in the idea that a group of Swedes sitting in solemn conclave was in a position to decide who was the best writer of English, or the one most worthy to be honoured. After Pearl Buck one saw it as a lottery.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @S Johnson

    Who are you quoting here?

    TBH, sic transit gloria mundi - fame is fleeting. Very few writers stand the test of time. Most of the most fashionable, highly praised writers of a century ago are never read today. By the end of his life, Rembrandt's work was out of fashion and he was reduced to poverty. His chief critic (Rembrandt paintings are too dark!) became a successful and fashionable painter, but his work was crap and is no longer found in museums except as an example of bad art, while Rembrandt endures.

    Women buy 60% of all works of fiction (and it has been that way for over a century) so what is appealing to you is of no consequence.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @S Johnson, @S Johnson

    , @obwandiyag
    @S Johnson

    The Good Earth is great. Who cares if you don't read it.

    , @S. Anonyia
    @S Johnson

    I don’t know about how often she is read today but relatively recently (in the early 2000s) her books were required reading in my school system....for a 5th grade gifted/humanities course and 7th grade English. So I’d bet a fair amount of millennials have read her books.

    Replies: @S Johnson

    , @epebble
    @S Johnson

    I read Good Earth as a boy and my knowledge of pre-revolutionary China is from this book. I remember it being a great and unputdownable book. Felt the same with Alex Haley's Roots. Did Haley get nominated for a Nobel? Unlike Buck, I find both Naipaul (Nobel) and Rushdie (no Nobel yet) very putdownable.

    Replies: @Art Deco

    , @Art Deco
    @S Johnson

    a Presbyterian lady whose middle-brow historical fiction about China is almost totally unread today.

    Have a gander at the people awarded the prize prior to 1971 and see how many you can locate that you've heard of and read. They awarded 65 prizes. I recognize 29 names and have read a fragment of the oeuvre of about 15.

    Replies: @S Johnson

  30. The Tanzanian writer, the first Black winner since Toni Morrison, was honored for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism.”

    Wow! One no longer justs “interrogates” things,……..now one “penetrates” them. And compassionately too!

    Perhaps within a year or so we will see the following blurb in the NYT Review of Books: “Author X writes about the intersection of race and gender and savagely violates the effects of social relations.”

  31. @2BR
    Exactly why did the British Empire see the need to control Zanzibar? Or any of subSaharan Africa (outside of SA) for that matter, where they did not settle, they barely “exploited” and in fact, lost money; they simply ruled. The British can blame their Colonial Office and their absurd ambitions. A UK federated or even more loosely confederated, with Australia, NZ and Canada alone would have been a world power.

    Replies: @Houston 1992, @for-the-record

    The passage to India would have been complicated by a German U boat base in Zanzibar.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    @Houston 1992

    My mom told me that she was once seated next to an old German guy at a dinner, who had served on a German warship that sank or captured several British warships in the Indian Ocean in WWI.

  32. It’ll turn out some housewife in Pennsylvania wrote all these novels and this guy is the front man providing the requisite “authenticity” the media craves

  33. It’s clear that they were determined to give this to a “Black” person this year and Gurnah is blackish, so close enough. Gurnah writes the kind of books that often get “shortlisted” or “longlisted” for literary prizes but don’t actually win – a sort of “honorable mention”. Commercially, his books don’t sell well at all – maybe they get sold as assigned reading for some college classes. If Gurnah was not “African” then there’s no way a writer of his rank would have gotten the Nobel, but this year they HAD to find a “black” guy. Of course they could have done worse – his work is not political, not anti-white. He portrays his characters, who are mostly non-white, as humans – some are bad, some are good. People who grow up in mostly non-white countries don’t confuse color with virtue. I suspect that his experience with getting kicked out of his own country by radicals has made him allergic to radical chic.

  34. Reminds me of Naipaul’s novel “A Bend in the River.” The narrator is a merchant from a South Asian Muslim clan who had lived for centuries on the coast of East Africa. He flees from his ancestral African home just before the South Asians there lose everything, and settles for a few years in a provincial town (possibly Kisangani, D. R. Congo). At the end of the story he flees a civil conflict between a local jungle militia and the President, and he ends up as a stranger in London. I first heard of the novel from this blog.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Guest29048


    Reminds me of Naipaul’s novel “A Bend in the River.” .... I first heard of the novel from this blog.
     
    Me, too. Then I read it and could not see what all the fuss was about. The narrator was neurotic and some of his exploits did not ring true to me.

    Replies: @International Jew

    , @Redmen
    @Guest29048

    I was thinking the same thing. I had read "A Bend In The River" long ago, but was reminded about it on this blog last year. Decided to read it again and found it fascinating.

    Naipaul was friends at one time with Paul Theroux, who wrote a superb travel book "Dark Star Safari" about his overland trip from Cairo to Cape Town. A lot of interesting history about East Africa and its post-colonial collapse.

  35. @S Johnson
    @SafeNow

    I haven’t personally read her but the point was that even in 1938 the criticism that the Nobel Prize for Literature was too biased towards identity and personal background was valid, with the award going to a Presbyterian lady whose middle-brow historical fiction about China is almost totally unread today.


    By whatever process the Swedish Academy decided that Pearl Buck made the most significant contribution to literature of all authors living in 1938, the choice had a strangely liberating effect on the whole prize system. There was always something odious in the idea that a group of Swedes sitting in solemn conclave was in a position to decide who was the best writer of English, or the one most worthy to be honoured. After Pearl Buck one saw it as a lottery.
     

    Replies: @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @S. Anonyia, @epebble, @Art Deco

    Who are you quoting here?

    TBH, sic transit gloria mundi – fame is fleeting. Very few writers stand the test of time. Most of the most fashionable, highly praised writers of a century ago are never read today. By the end of his life, Rembrandt’s work was out of fashion and he was reduced to poverty. His chief critic (Rembrandt paintings are too dark!) became a successful and fashionable painter, but his work was crap and is no longer found in museums except as an example of bad art, while Rembrandt endures.

    Women buy 60% of all works of fiction (and it has been that way for over a century) so what is appealing to you is of no consequence.

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @Jack D

    That’s from a column in the Spectator by Auberon Waugh upon the award of the prize to William Golding in 1983 (for essentially one book, ‘Lord of the Flies’). My point is not that Pearl Buck’s books aren’t masterpieces, just that the Nobel Prize has never really been considered an objective test of supreme merit.

    , @S Johnson
    @Jack D

    Fame is indeed fleeting but SafeNow’s list is a good example of authors who were serious contenders in their day whose reputations remain high and still seem pretty widely read. Among actual laureates in English who were active in the 30s or before Kipling, Yeats, Eliot, Faulkner and Hemingway are still considered greats while Shaw and Steinbeck’s reputations have perhaps declined while still remaining influential. Galsworthy, O’Neill and Sinclair Lewis might be added to Pearl Buck as little-read today. So it’s not impossible to judge who’ll endure.

    , @S Johnson
    @Jack D


    By the end of his life, Rembrandt’s work was out of fashion and he was reduced to poverty.
     
    Shakespeare was perhaps fortunate to die aged 48 in 1616. By the end of his life his reputation was still sky-high among his contemporaries who’d known him, as seen by the tributes they paid and their efforts to publish his complete works. But in the next generation there was already a slightly patronising attitude, like he was a natural prodigy sure, but a slightly uneducated and unrefined one, e.g. John Milton on “sweetest Shakespeare, fancy’s child/ Warble his native woodnotes wild”. If he had lived to see the fashion in theatre change to chamber pieces, masques, and more formal Greek-influenced plays, as it was already starting to, Shakespeare might have become as unpopular as Rembrandt was by his death in 1669.

    This attitude reached its apex in the 18th-century with the Bowdlerisation of the darkest parts of his plays and Alexander Pope’s (heavily criticised) edition of the complete works (which Dr Johnson fought back against a little, although even he said he couldn’t bear to read the end of ‘King Lear’). Then after the Romantics Shakespeare was back on top again (as was Rembrandt), while Pope and the Augustans were down. Now we’re living in an age where what the Romantics saw as the slightly effeminate elegance and manneredness of Augustans like Pope is back in fashion (along with his complicated sexuality) while more disturbing aspects of Shakespeare (especially male violence against women) are resisted.
  36. @Jack D
    @S Johnson

    Who are you quoting here?

    TBH, sic transit gloria mundi - fame is fleeting. Very few writers stand the test of time. Most of the most fashionable, highly praised writers of a century ago are never read today. By the end of his life, Rembrandt's work was out of fashion and he was reduced to poverty. His chief critic (Rembrandt paintings are too dark!) became a successful and fashionable painter, but his work was crap and is no longer found in museums except as an example of bad art, while Rembrandt endures.

    Women buy 60% of all works of fiction (and it has been that way for over a century) so what is appealing to you is of no consequence.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @S Johnson, @S Johnson

    That’s from a column in the Spectator by Auberon Waugh upon the award of the prize to William Golding in 1983 (for essentially one book, ‘Lord of the Flies’). My point is not that Pearl Buck’s books aren’t masterpieces, just that the Nobel Prize has never really been considered an objective test of supreme merit.

  37. @Jack D
    @S Johnson

    Who are you quoting here?

    TBH, sic transit gloria mundi - fame is fleeting. Very few writers stand the test of time. Most of the most fashionable, highly praised writers of a century ago are never read today. By the end of his life, Rembrandt's work was out of fashion and he was reduced to poverty. His chief critic (Rembrandt paintings are too dark!) became a successful and fashionable painter, but his work was crap and is no longer found in museums except as an example of bad art, while Rembrandt endures.

    Women buy 60% of all works of fiction (and it has been that way for over a century) so what is appealing to you is of no consequence.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @S Johnson, @S Johnson

    Fame is indeed fleeting but SafeNow’s list is a good example of authors who were serious contenders in their day whose reputations remain high and still seem pretty widely read. Among actual laureates in English who were active in the 30s or before Kipling, Yeats, Eliot, Faulkner and Hemingway are still considered greats while Shaw and Steinbeck’s reputations have perhaps declined while still remaining influential. Galsworthy, O’Neill and Sinclair Lewis might be added to Pearl Buck as little-read today. So it’s not impossible to judge who’ll endure.

  38. @SafeNow
    Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Conrad, Greene, Updike, Roth, Burgos…nothing to see here.

    Oh well, the times they are a changin’.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @theMann, @Art Deco

    Not to mention Robert Frost, Willa Cather, Pierre Boulle, Somerset Maugham, Vassily Grossman and Virginia Woolf……

    On the other hand, Bob Dylan and Louise Gluck have won.

    The Literature Nobel is a joke.

  39. @Jack D
    @S Johnson

    Who are you quoting here?

    TBH, sic transit gloria mundi - fame is fleeting. Very few writers stand the test of time. Most of the most fashionable, highly praised writers of a century ago are never read today. By the end of his life, Rembrandt's work was out of fashion and he was reduced to poverty. His chief critic (Rembrandt paintings are too dark!) became a successful and fashionable painter, but his work was crap and is no longer found in museums except as an example of bad art, while Rembrandt endures.

    Women buy 60% of all works of fiction (and it has been that way for over a century) so what is appealing to you is of no consequence.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @S Johnson, @S Johnson

    By the end of his life, Rembrandt’s work was out of fashion and he was reduced to poverty.

    Shakespeare was perhaps fortunate to die aged 48 in 1616. By the end of his life his reputation was still sky-high among his contemporaries who’d known him, as seen by the tributes they paid and their efforts to publish his complete works. But in the next generation there was already a slightly patronising attitude, like he was a natural prodigy sure, but a slightly uneducated and unrefined one, e.g. John Milton on “sweetest Shakespeare, fancy’s child/ Warble his native woodnotes wild”. If he had lived to see the fashion in theatre change to chamber pieces, masques, and more formal Greek-influenced plays, as it was already starting to, Shakespeare might have become as unpopular as Rembrandt was by his death in 1669.

    This attitude reached its apex in the 18th-century with the Bowdlerisation of the darkest parts of his plays and Alexander Pope’s (heavily criticised) edition of the complete works (which Dr Johnson fought back against a little, although even he said he couldn’t bear to read the end of ‘King Lear’). Then after the Romantics Shakespeare was back on top again (as was Rembrandt), while Pope and the Augustans were down. Now we’re living in an age where what the Romantics saw as the slightly effeminate elegance and manneredness of Augustans like Pope is back in fashion (along with his complicated sexuality) while more disturbing aspects of Shakespeare (especially male violence against women) are resisted.

  40. @Houston 1992
    @2BR

    The passage to India would have been complicated by a German U boat base in Zanzibar.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

    My mom told me that she was once seated next to an old German guy at a dinner, who had served on a German warship that sank or captured several British warships in the Indian Ocean in WWI.

  41. @Colin Wright
    There's a decided irony in the twin facts that Gurnah was driven from his homeland for not being black -- and that now the New York Times is celebrating him for being black.


    ...it's also a comment on the rapidly falling standards of the Times -- that they could be so ignorant of the most basic facts about the life of their subject.

    Replies: @Lurker

    Some vague parallels with Rhianna. Allegedly bullied for being white(ish) as a kid back home in Barbados. Feted as black(ish) in the world beyond.

  42. @S Johnson
    @SafeNow

    I haven’t personally read her but the point was that even in 1938 the criticism that the Nobel Prize for Literature was too biased towards identity and personal background was valid, with the award going to a Presbyterian lady whose middle-brow historical fiction about China is almost totally unread today.


    By whatever process the Swedish Academy decided that Pearl Buck made the most significant contribution to literature of all authors living in 1938, the choice had a strangely liberating effect on the whole prize system. There was always something odious in the idea that a group of Swedes sitting in solemn conclave was in a position to decide who was the best writer of English, or the one most worthy to be honoured. After Pearl Buck one saw it as a lottery.
     

    Replies: @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @S. Anonyia, @epebble, @Art Deco

    The Good Earth is great. Who cares if you don’t read it.

  43. But everybody wants to shove his complicated life story into the dominant Black vs. white paradigm.

    Why is “black” spelled in uppercase? Why is “White” put into lowercase?

  44. @Clyde
    @Rob McX


    Now he just needs to die so they can put up plaques everywhere he lived.
     
    If I am visiting and walking around London, yeah, I would go see Jimi Hendrix's plaques. "Jimi got stoned here" "Jimi ate his first chips butty here" "Jimi told Eric Burdon to eff off here"

    Replies: @Cortes

    Like this?

    • Replies: @Clyde
    @Cortes

    Super cool! Thanks a lot! I love it and this fits in with Eric Burdon, since he is from Newcastle-upon-Tyne

    , @Inselaffen
    @Cortes

    God that's embarrassing.
    'A magic negro popstar, icon of the boomers, once SAT here! in OUR town! Eating OUR 'national dish'! Feel pride in this most highest of honours, and know nothing you or we ever did or will do again can approach the glory this moment in history, frozen forever in time while you go about your dreary modern life'.

    Personally I'd do away with all blue plaques, not least of which because there's the inevitable tendency to descend to this level of nonsense and put them up everywhere...

    Replies: @Cortes, @Anonymous

  45. For whatever reason, blacks seem to turn on the darker skinned Caucasian races such as Arabs and Indians the hardest whenever they wrest power from them.
    My guess is that both of these ethnicities see the world – and each other – through frank, unfiltered eyes.

  46. @Steve Sailer
    @JMcG

    It's almost as if Freddie Mercury was a clever man who could keep multiple meanings in his head at once.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Pericles

    Ambiguity is raciss and the Ivy League will not have it.

  47. Author displayed against a symbolically white background, since he ran off to London and all.

    AS: Yeah, of course, they will want to talk to you, and everybody will want to talk to you. But, the citation speaks about the way that you deal with the ‘fate of refugees’ and the ‘gulf between cultures and continents’. It’s obviously a particular moment now – we’re in the middle of a refugee crisis. But can you just say how do you see the divisions between cultures? There are so many ways of characterising things.

    AG: I don’t see that these divisions are either, you know, permanent or somehow insurmountable or anything like that. People, of course, have been moving all over the world. I think this is a… this phenomenon of particularly people from Africa coming to Europe is a relatively new one, but of course the other… Europeans streaming out into the world is nothing new. Centuries of that we’ve had. So I think the reason it’s so difficult for Europe to kind of, for a lot of people in Europe, for European states, to come to terms with it is perhaps a sort of… well, to cut a long story short, a kind of miserliness, as if there isn’t enough to go around. When many of these people who come, come out of first need, and because quite frankly they have something to give. They don’t… they don’t come empty handed. A lot of them are talented, energetic people, who have something to give. So that might be another way of thinking about it. You’re not just taking people in as if they’re, you know, poverty-stricken nothings, but, yeah, think of it as you’re first providing succour to people who are in need, but also people who can contribute something.

    https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2021/gurnah/interview/

    So he seems to be ignorant and idiot, a la Taleb’s terminology, but the kind of idiot who is praised by contemporary society. I’m afraid I do not expect this to be one of the stronger choices in the history of Nobels.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @Pericles


    You’re not just taking people in as if they’re, you know, poverty-stricken nothings, but, yeah, think of it as you’re first providing succour to people who are in need, but also people who can contribute something.
     
    Succour from suckers.
  48. @2BR
    Exactly why did the British Empire see the need to control Zanzibar? Or any of subSaharan Africa (outside of SA) for that matter, where they did not settle, they barely “exploited” and in fact, lost money; they simply ruled. The British can blame their Colonial Office and their absurd ambitions. A UK federated or even more loosely confederated, with Australia, NZ and Canada alone would have been a world power.

    Replies: @Houston 1992, @for-the-record

    Exactly why did the British Empire see the need to control Zanzibar?

    The initial reason, at least in part, was to put an end to the Arab slave trade:

    “The United Kingdom’s early interest in Zanzibar was motivated by both commerce and the determination to end the slave trade.[18] In 1822, the British signed the first of a series of treaties with Sultan Said to curb this trade, but not until 1876 was the sale of slaves finally prohibited. Under strong British pressure, the slave trade was officially abolished in 1876, but slavery itself remained legal in Zanzibar until 1897” (Wiki)

  49. But despite being hailed as “one of Africa’s greatest living writers” by the author Giles Foden, Gurnah’s books have rarely received the kind of commercial reception that some previous laureates have.

    Whites are racist for not buying enough of his books.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @Escher


    Whites are racist for not buying enough of his books.
     
    Doesn't this suggest that Whites buy so many books that they are the determining factor even though they are a single digit percentage minority of the worlds population?

    Isn't that racist?
  50. @Pericles
    Author displayed against a symbolically white background, since he ran off to London and all.


    AS: Yeah, of course, they will want to talk to you, and everybody will want to talk to you. But, the citation speaks about the way that you deal with the ‘fate of refugees’ and the ‘gulf between cultures and continents’. It’s obviously a particular moment now – we’re in the middle of a refugee crisis. But can you just say how do you see the divisions between cultures? There are so many ways of characterising things.

    AG: I don’t see that these divisions are either, you know, permanent or somehow insurmountable or anything like that. People, of course, have been moving all over the world. I think this is a… this phenomenon of particularly people from Africa coming to Europe is a relatively new one, but of course the other… Europeans streaming out into the world is nothing new. Centuries of that we’ve had. So I think the reason it’s so difficult for Europe to kind of, for a lot of people in Europe, for European states, to come to terms with it is perhaps a sort of… well, to cut a long story short, a kind of miserliness, as if there isn’t enough to go around. When many of these people who come, come out of first need, and because quite frankly they have something to give. They don’t… they don’t come empty handed. A lot of them are talented, energetic people, who have something to give. So that might be another way of thinking about it. You’re not just taking people in as if they’re, you know, poverty-stricken nothings, but, yeah, think of it as you’re first providing succour to people who are in need, but also people who can contribute something.

     

    https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2021/gurnah/interview/

    So he seems to be ignorant and idiot, a la Taleb's terminology, but the kind of idiot who is praised by contemporary society. I'm afraid I do not expect this to be one of the stronger choices in the history of Nobels.

    Replies: @Rob McX

    You’re not just taking people in as if they’re, you know, poverty-stricken nothings, but, yeah, think of it as you’re first providing succour to people who are in need, but also people who can contribute something.

    Succour from suckers.

  51. I once met a Japanese man who spoke the MOST UNLIKELY sentence in the English language: “I built an amusement park in Zanzibar.”

  52. I recall the English writer Tim Parkes writing a very good piece on why we shouldn’t take the Nobel Prize for Literature seriously
    But I realise that Americans just love awards of all kinds .
    Guess it saves one the trouble of having to make up ones own mind about stuff

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @sb

    But I realise that Americans just love awards of all kinds .

    Sez who? The only people I've ever met who seem to fancy awards are the people who hand them out.

    , @Colin Wright
    @sb

    'I recall the English writer Tim Parkes writing a very good piece on why we shouldn’t take the Nobel Prize for Literature seriously
    But I realise that Americans just love awards of all kinds .
    Guess it saves one the trouble of having to make up ones own mind about stuff'


    There seems be a non-sequitur somewhere here. What was the nationality of the writer who bothered to write about this?

  53. The journalist Greta Thurfjell, writing in Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish newspaper, noted that 95 of the 117 past Nobel laureates were from Europe or North America, and that only 16 winners had been women. “Can it really continue like that?” she asked.

    Only 10% of Swedish nurses are men. In Denmark it’s a measly 3.5%. “Can it really continue like that?”

  54. @Mike Tre
    @Dave Pinsen

    She might be the reason he went homo.

    Replies: @West reanimator, @YetAnotherAnon

    You’re probably joking, but given what we know about the link between homosexuality and child sex abuse, you might be correct.

    • Replies: @Fun To Do Bad Things
    @West reanimator


    given what we know about the link between homosexuality and child sex abuse
     
    Citation needed
    , @Mike Tre
    @West reanimator

    I am, but the joke is based upon that very possibility.

  55. “They’re getting these literally handfuls of people compared to European migrations.”

    European migrations to Australia and North America that were lightly populated by hunter-gatherers. These migrations aren’t so different from those of whatever black ancestors Gurnah does have, who forced themselves into areas populated by pygmies and Bushmen during the “Bantu Expansion”, except that the Europeans ended up elevating the survivors of the previous inhabitants into a privileged class with semi-autonomous areas and special handouts in addition to the benefits of normal citizenship in the White states formed.

    Apart from the Pieds-Noirs, who were almost entirely purged from France’s former colonies, the Afrikaners in South Africa who are being subjected to a long-running campaign of anarchi-tyrannical violence by the black majority, and the Whites in the former Rhodesia, who were also mostly purged, how many people of European ancestry actually live in Africa as citizens of the various black-run states there, let alone enjoy the exorbitant privileges enjoyed Africans who make it to White countries? And those few who remain in Africa must contend with anti-White racial discrimination like BEE, while the blacks from who get to White countries are often the beneficiaries of anti-White discrimination like affirmative action in the US, despite never having been slaves in these countries (and many of them having ancestors who sold slaves to Arabs, Jews, and Whites).

    Gurnah seems like nothing more than a midwit anti-White bigot trying to justify his position of immense privilege in his host society, while also actively trying to destroy it. Mr. Sailer is far too kind to him.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @Fred B.


    Gurnah seems like nothing more than a midwit anti-White bigot trying to justify his position of immense privilege in his host society, while also actively trying to destroy it.
     
    When he fled Zanzibar, he had dozens of African and Middle Eastern countries to choose as a refuge. But he picked England and stayed there. Since it's such a racist place, it must be the climate or the cuisine that won him over.
  56. @Altai
    OT:
    Media kvetching about no more Romanian and Polish fuel truck drivers will destroy the UK economy because of Brexit turned out to be self-fulfilling prophecy. The media induced panic buying which caused the mass fuel shortages across Britain, supply was down but only marginally. (And given the lower amount of movement due to covid, more than enough)

    https://twitter.com/i/events/1446145721405747211

    For a few weeks now they've been talking about emergency training for new fuel truck drivers and it was all bullshit.

    Replies: @Mike Tre, @Triteleia Laxa

    I’m sure a lot of non-political people saw it as a complete disaster that it looked like wages would have to rise for ordinary jobs. They must have been thinking “please import hundreds of thousands of people so no one has to pay me more.”

    People, including journalists, who engage in politics as therapy, 95%+ of the politically engaged, can’t help themselves from advancing the argument for the other side every time time they open their mouths. In this case, it was particularly obvious and hilarious. “But wages will have to rise!”

    Yes

  57. @Guest29048
    Reminds me of Naipaul's novel "A Bend in the River." The narrator is a merchant from a South Asian Muslim clan who had lived for centuries on the coast of East Africa. He flees from his ancestral African home just before the South Asians there lose everything, and settles for a few years in a provincial town (possibly Kisangani, D. R. Congo). At the end of the story he flees a civil conflict between a local jungle militia and the President, and he ends up as a stranger in London. I first heard of the novel from this blog.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob, @Redmen

    Reminds me of Naipaul’s novel “A Bend in the River.” …. I first heard of the novel from this blog.

    Me, too. Then I read it and could not see what all the fuss was about. The narrator was neurotic and some of his exploits did not ring true to me.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    @Jim Don Bob

    One theme is how the protagonist, along with the thin veneer of civilization around him, survives thanks to the protection of some far-off power (at first Belgian, later a first-generation African big man). When that power retreats, the locals lay everything to waste and the jungle reclaims what's left.

  58. @S Johnson
    @SafeNow

    I haven’t personally read her but the point was that even in 1938 the criticism that the Nobel Prize for Literature was too biased towards identity and personal background was valid, with the award going to a Presbyterian lady whose middle-brow historical fiction about China is almost totally unread today.


    By whatever process the Swedish Academy decided that Pearl Buck made the most significant contribution to literature of all authors living in 1938, the choice had a strangely liberating effect on the whole prize system. There was always something odious in the idea that a group of Swedes sitting in solemn conclave was in a position to decide who was the best writer of English, or the one most worthy to be honoured. After Pearl Buck one saw it as a lottery.
     

    Replies: @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @S. Anonyia, @epebble, @Art Deco

    I don’t know about how often she is read today but relatively recently (in the early 2000s) her books were required reading in my school system….for a 5th grade gifted/humanities course and 7th grade English. So I’d bet a fair amount of millennials have read her books.

    • Thanks: S Johnson
    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @S. Anonyia

    ‘Lord of the Flies’ is another book by a Nobel winner that’s kept alive by being assigned on school reading lists, presumably because it holds the attention of boys. A. Waugh alleged that the plot was stolen from a forgotten Edwardian childrens’ book, which Golding denied, although the evidence he presented seems convincing (down to minor details like the appearances of the main characters, glasses, red hair, etc.).

    Replies: @Art Deco

  59. An Oriental composer gets the third degree from a Black student.

    https://www.michigandaily.com/news/academics/following-blackface-incident-professor-bright-sheng-takes-step-back-from-teaching-smtd-composition-course/

    Increasingly, stuff like this and amusing legal concepts like “mutual combat” being applied to gangland killings will probably shift this demographic away from the Democratic party. Thanks to continuing chain migration, the electoral impact could be seismic.

    Italians started voting in equal numbers for both parties after almost 100 years of mass immigration. They were previously loyal Democrats voting in lockstep for ward heelers like the Pelosi clan. For Hispanics, the immigration floodgates opened in the 80’s, after the Reagan amnesty. Less than 40 years later, electoral parity for the two parties re the Hispanic vote may be in sight:

    https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_michael_barone/both_parties_ignorance_of_electoral_reality_has_led_to_our_present_discontents

    • Replies: @Eric Novak
    @Johann Ricke

    Ridiculous Cuckservative clowning-Hispanics will not ever be voting against affirmative action, $18,000 EITC/ACTC checks, and hundreds of billions in welfare benefits that permit them to live in the US in the first place. Hispanics voted 70/30 for the left in 1968, when exit polling first began for them, and voted a bit more than 70/30 for the left in 2020. Every election cycle adds several million more Hispanic votes for the left.

  60. @Cortes
    @Clyde

    Like this?

    https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4860/46160305341_c11b8b0934_z.jpg

    Replies: @Clyde, @Inselaffen

    Super cool! Thanks a lot! I love it and this fits in with Eric Burdon, since he is from Newcastle-upon-Tyne

  61. @Fred B.
    “They’re getting these literally handfuls of people compared to European migrations.”

    European migrations to Australia and North America that were lightly populated by hunter-gatherers. These migrations aren’t so different from those of whatever black ancestors Gurnah does have, who forced themselves into areas populated by pygmies and Bushmen during the “Bantu Expansion”, except that the Europeans ended up elevating the survivors of the previous inhabitants into a privileged class with semi-autonomous areas and special handouts in addition to the benefits of normal citizenship in the White states formed.

    Apart from the Pieds-Noirs, who were almost entirely purged from France’s former colonies, the Afrikaners in South Africa who are being subjected to a long-running campaign of anarchi-tyrannical violence by the black majority, and the Whites in the former Rhodesia, who were also mostly purged, how many people of European ancestry actually live in Africa as citizens of the various black-run states there, let alone enjoy the exorbitant privileges enjoyed Africans who make it to White countries? And those few who remain in Africa must contend with anti-White racial discrimination like BEE, while the blacks from who get to White countries are often the beneficiaries of anti-White discrimination like affirmative action in the US, despite never having been slaves in these countries (and many of them having ancestors who sold slaves to Arabs, Jews, and Whites).

    Gurnah seems like nothing more than a midwit anti-White bigot trying to justify his position of immense privilege in his host society, while also actively trying to destroy it. Mr. Sailer is far too kind to him.

    Replies: @Rob McX

    Gurnah seems like nothing more than a midwit anti-White bigot trying to justify his position of immense privilege in his host society, while also actively trying to destroy it.

    When he fled Zanzibar, he had dozens of African and Middle Eastern countries to choose as a refuge. But he picked England and stayed there. Since it’s such a racist place, it must be the climate or the cuisine that won him over.

  62. @Escher

    But despite being hailed as “one of Africa’s greatest living writers” by the author Giles Foden, Gurnah’s books have rarely received the kind of commercial reception that some previous laureates have.

     

    Whites are racist for not buying enough of his books.

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    Whites are racist for not buying enough of his books.

    Doesn’t this suggest that Whites buy so many books that they are the determining factor even though they are a single digit percentage minority of the worlds population?

    Isn’t that racist?

  63. @West reanimator
    @Mike Tre

    You're probably joking, but given what we know about the link between homosexuality and child sex abuse, you might be correct.

    Replies: @Fun To Do Bad Things, @Mike Tre

    given what we know about the link between homosexuality and child sex abuse

    Citation needed

  64. @Guest29048
    Reminds me of Naipaul's novel "A Bend in the River." The narrator is a merchant from a South Asian Muslim clan who had lived for centuries on the coast of East Africa. He flees from his ancestral African home just before the South Asians there lose everything, and settles for a few years in a provincial town (possibly Kisangani, D. R. Congo). At the end of the story he flees a civil conflict between a local jungle militia and the President, and he ends up as a stranger in London. I first heard of the novel from this blog.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob, @Redmen

    I was thinking the same thing. I had read “A Bend In The River” long ago, but was reminded about it on this blog last year. Decided to read it again and found it fascinating.

    Naipaul was friends at one time with Paul Theroux, who wrote a superb travel book “Dark Star Safari” about his overland trip from Cairo to Cape Town. A lot of interesting history about East Africa and its post-colonial collapse.

  65. @Mike Tre
    @Dave Pinsen

    She might be the reason he went homo.

    Replies: @West reanimator, @YetAnotherAnon

    She must be the woman he sang about.

    I was just a skinny lad
    Never knew no good from bad
    But I knew life before I left my nursery
    Left alone with big fat Fanny
    She was such a naughty nanny
    Heap big woman, you made a bad boy out of me

    Unfortunately the song was written by Brian May. Maybe Freddie M disclosed infantile goings-on and Brian made a song out of it. Mercury certainly belted it out, but he did that with everything.

  66. @West reanimator
    @Mike Tre

    You're probably joking, but given what we know about the link between homosexuality and child sex abuse, you might be correct.

    Replies: @Fun To Do Bad Things, @Mike Tre

    I am, but the joke is based upon that very possibility.

  67. @S Johnson
    @SafeNow

    I haven’t personally read her but the point was that even in 1938 the criticism that the Nobel Prize for Literature was too biased towards identity and personal background was valid, with the award going to a Presbyterian lady whose middle-brow historical fiction about China is almost totally unread today.


    By whatever process the Swedish Academy decided that Pearl Buck made the most significant contribution to literature of all authors living in 1938, the choice had a strangely liberating effect on the whole prize system. There was always something odious in the idea that a group of Swedes sitting in solemn conclave was in a position to decide who was the best writer of English, or the one most worthy to be honoured. After Pearl Buck one saw it as a lottery.
     

    Replies: @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @S. Anonyia, @epebble, @Art Deco

    I read Good Earth as a boy and my knowledge of pre-revolutionary China is from this book. I remember it being a great and unputdownable book. Felt the same with Alex Haley’s Roots. Did Haley get nominated for a Nobel? Unlike Buck, I find both Naipaul (Nobel) and Rushdie (no Nobel yet) very putdownable.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @epebble

    Disagree. I can plow through Naipaul, though one does not really sympathise with his characters.

    Roots if I understand correctly was a mass of disorganized research material that Haley and his 3d wife assembled into a door stop book in an 18 month marathon of composition. She was not listed as a co-author, however. Haley was raked over the coals for plagiarism, though it only accounts for a tiny percentage of the book's content (and his wife would likely not have known he'd read Harold Courlander's book even if he remembered it). He was also criticized for errors in his genealogy (though AFAIK his critics did not bother to ascertain his correct pedigree).

    Replies: @epebble

  68. @Wade Hampton
    @Rob McX

    Plaques for semi-blacks?

    Replies: @MC

    Alfreds for Half-breds

  69. @Trelane
    A white man working all summer on a fishing boat outside of Delacroix would be about that dark.

    Replies: @Trelane, @Gary in Gramercy

    “That dark”? You mean navy blue, as in “Tangled Up in Blue”?

  70. @S Johnson
    @SafeNow

    I haven’t personally read her but the point was that even in 1938 the criticism that the Nobel Prize for Literature was too biased towards identity and personal background was valid, with the award going to a Presbyterian lady whose middle-brow historical fiction about China is almost totally unread today.


    By whatever process the Swedish Academy decided that Pearl Buck made the most significant contribution to literature of all authors living in 1938, the choice had a strangely liberating effect on the whole prize system. There was always something odious in the idea that a group of Swedes sitting in solemn conclave was in a position to decide who was the best writer of English, or the one most worthy to be honoured. After Pearl Buck one saw it as a lottery.
     

    Replies: @Jack D, @obwandiyag, @S. Anonyia, @epebble, @Art Deco

    a Presbyterian lady whose middle-brow historical fiction about China is almost totally unread today.

    Have a gander at the people awarded the prize prior to 1971 and see how many you can locate that you’ve heard of and read. They awarded 65 prizes. I recognize 29 names and have read a fragment of the oeuvre of about 15.

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @Art Deco

    But, if you limit the field to writers in English (which seems fair) they have a pretty good track record.

    I would suggest a tabulation more or less like this:

    Literary greats:

    Kipling
    Yeats
    Eliot
    Faulkner
    Hemingway
    Beckett

    Best of the second-tier:

    Shaw
    Steinbeck
    Bertrand Russell
    Churchill
    O’Neill

    More or less forgotten:

    Galsworthy
    Buck

    That’s almost 50% writers still considered greats from English-speaking laureates after an interval of more than 50 years, and only two (imo) duds. The ‘duds’ both wrote works of serial fiction which were hugely popular in their day (in Galsworthy’s case The Forsyte Saga which was also popular when dramatised for TV by the BBC in the 1960s) suggesting serial fiction ages the least well.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @Steve Sailer

  71. @sb
    I recall the English writer Tim Parkes writing a very good piece on why we shouldn't take the Nobel Prize for Literature seriously
    But I realise that Americans just love awards of all kinds .
    Guess it saves one the trouble of having to make up ones own mind about stuff

    Replies: @Art Deco, @Colin Wright

    But I realise that Americans just love awards of all kinds .

    Sez who? The only people I’ve ever met who seem to fancy awards are the people who hand them out.

  72. @SafeNow
    Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce, Conrad, Greene, Updike, Roth, Burgos…nothing to see here.

    Oh well, the times they are a changin’.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @theMann, @Art Deco

    I think there’s a rule against awarding prizes posthumously.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
    @Art Deco

    True, not posthumously (except Dag). You could go out of your mind otherwise.
    …What about Euripides? But the prize has been awarded since 1901, and all of these authors I named could have been awarded the prize during their lives. They deserved it. Just read James Joyce quotes on Goodreads for a few minutes, anyone who doesn’t believe me

  73. @Art Deco
    @S Johnson

    a Presbyterian lady whose middle-brow historical fiction about China is almost totally unread today.

    Have a gander at the people awarded the prize prior to 1971 and see how many you can locate that you've heard of and read. They awarded 65 prizes. I recognize 29 names and have read a fragment of the oeuvre of about 15.

    Replies: @S Johnson

    But, if you limit the field to writers in English (which seems fair) they have a pretty good track record.

    I would suggest a tabulation more or less like this:

    Literary greats:

    Kipling
    Yeats
    Eliot
    Faulkner
    Hemingway
    Beckett

    Best of the second-tier:

    Shaw
    Steinbeck
    Bertrand Russell
    Churchill
    O’Neill

    More or less forgotten:

    Galsworthy
    Buck

    That’s almost 50% writers still considered greats from English-speaking laureates after an interval of more than 50 years, and only two (imo) duds. The ‘duds’ both wrote works of serial fiction which were hugely popular in their day (in Galsworthy’s case The Forsyte Saga which was also popular when dramatised for TV by the BBC in the 1960s) suggesting serial fiction ages the least well.

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @S Johnson

    British comedians Harry and Paul parodied the Forsyte Saga series (which in the U.K. was one of the first everyone-who-has-a-TV-set gathers round it shows) in their satirical history of BBC2:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tw6i8Q-WgIo

    It’s been suggested that its airtime on Sunday evenings disrupted the historic Anglican practice of Evensong beloved by George Orwell among others.

    , @Steve Sailer
    @S Johnson

    The Forsyte Saga on the BBC in the late 1960s was the first example of 21st Century style Quality Television. It's probably unwatchable today, but it was a great leap forward at the time. So Galsworthy's work contributed over a half-century even though it has faded from memory over the last half-century.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @Art Deco

  74. “as both Europe and America have been gripped with a backlash against immigrants and refugees, and political instability and war have driven more people from their home countries. “It’s a kind of meanness and miserliness on the part of these prosperous countries that say, we don’t want these people,” he said”

    This is basically the orthodox media worldview, but something about it doesn’t make sense. On the one hand Western nations are accused of having large and scary-sounding anti immigrant tendencies, and yet if this were true, where are they on our TV screens and in our newspapers? Where are they in our national and regional parliaments? How are they being represented in these institutions, and if not, why not, and why don’t they explain why that is?

  75. @S Johnson
    @Art Deco

    But, if you limit the field to writers in English (which seems fair) they have a pretty good track record.

    I would suggest a tabulation more or less like this:

    Literary greats:

    Kipling
    Yeats
    Eliot
    Faulkner
    Hemingway
    Beckett

    Best of the second-tier:

    Shaw
    Steinbeck
    Bertrand Russell
    Churchill
    O’Neill

    More or less forgotten:

    Galsworthy
    Buck

    That’s almost 50% writers still considered greats from English-speaking laureates after an interval of more than 50 years, and only two (imo) duds. The ‘duds’ both wrote works of serial fiction which were hugely popular in their day (in Galsworthy’s case The Forsyte Saga which was also popular when dramatised for TV by the BBC in the 1960s) suggesting serial fiction ages the least well.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @Steve Sailer

    British comedians Harry and Paul parodied the Forsyte Saga series (which in the U.K. was one of the first everyone-who-has-a-TV-set gathers round it shows) in their satirical history of BBC2:

    It’s been suggested that its airtime on Sunday evenings disrupted the historic Anglican practice of Evensong beloved by George Orwell among others.

  76. @Cortes
    @Clyde

    Like this?

    https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4860/46160305341_c11b8b0934_z.jpg

    Replies: @Clyde, @Inselaffen

    God that’s embarrassing.
    ‘A magic negro popstar, icon of the boomers, once SAT here! in OUR town! Eating OUR ‘national dish’! Feel pride in this most highest of honours, and know nothing you or we ever did or will do again can approach the glory this moment in history, frozen forever in time while you go about your dreary modern life’.

    Personally I’d do away with all blue plaques, not least of which because there’s the inevitable tendency to descend to this level of nonsense and put them up everywhere…

    • Replies: @Cortes
    @Inselaffen

    That’s just the Geordies [Tynesiders] for you. The news that a Saudi group is taking control of the local Premier League team from the well-hated London businessman Mike Ashley has been greeted with “breakdancing” by fans dressed up as Bedouins. Probably have Viz-type “Fat Slags” ululating at matches next.

    Anyway, here’s the official guide to the London plaques:

    https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/blue-plaques/about-blue-plaques/

    , @Anonymous
    @Inselaffen

    Yes, blue plaques like all markers of prestige are subject to inflation, which renders them increasingly ridiculous.

  77. @S Johnson
    @Art Deco

    But, if you limit the field to writers in English (which seems fair) they have a pretty good track record.

    I would suggest a tabulation more or less like this:

    Literary greats:

    Kipling
    Yeats
    Eliot
    Faulkner
    Hemingway
    Beckett

    Best of the second-tier:

    Shaw
    Steinbeck
    Bertrand Russell
    Churchill
    O’Neill

    More or less forgotten:

    Galsworthy
    Buck

    That’s almost 50% writers still considered greats from English-speaking laureates after an interval of more than 50 years, and only two (imo) duds. The ‘duds’ both wrote works of serial fiction which were hugely popular in their day (in Galsworthy’s case The Forsyte Saga which was also popular when dramatised for TV by the BBC in the 1960s) suggesting serial fiction ages the least well.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @Steve Sailer

    The Forsyte Saga on the BBC in the late 1960s was the first example of 21st Century style Quality Television. It’s probably unwatchable today, but it was a great leap forward at the time. So Galsworthy’s work contributed over a half-century even though it has faded from memory over the last half-century.

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @Steve Sailer

    Evelyn Waugh wrote an essay analysing the peculiar hold the Forsyte Saga had over readers of his generation (looking it up now it was the introduction to a reissue of “The Man of Property”, the first in the series). I think his conclusion was that Galsworthy was one of the first authors to catch the mood of disillusion of adolescents who came of age during the Great War, but that the Forsytes themselves were curiously classless and lacking in reality so it was never very threatening to their worldview.

    , @Art Deco
    @Steve Sailer

    An abbreviated remake was broadcast in 2002-03, cut down from 26 episodes to 10.

  78. @Art Deco
    @SafeNow

    I think there's a rule against awarding prizes posthumously.

    Replies: @SafeNow

    True, not posthumously (except Dag). You could go out of your mind otherwise.
    …What about Euripides? But the prize has been awarded since 1901, and all of these authors I named could have been awarded the prize during their lives. They deserved it. Just read James Joyce quotes on Goodreads for a few minutes, anyone who doesn’t believe me

  79. @Steve Sailer
    @S Johnson

    The Forsyte Saga on the BBC in the late 1960s was the first example of 21st Century style Quality Television. It's probably unwatchable today, but it was a great leap forward at the time. So Galsworthy's work contributed over a half-century even though it has faded from memory over the last half-century.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @Art Deco

    Evelyn Waugh wrote an essay analysing the peculiar hold the Forsyte Saga had over readers of his generation (looking it up now it was the introduction to a reissue of “The Man of Property”, the first in the series). I think his conclusion was that Galsworthy was one of the first authors to catch the mood of disillusion of adolescents who came of age during the Great War, but that the Forsytes themselves were curiously classless and lacking in reality so it was never very threatening to their worldview.

  80. @Inselaffen
    @Cortes

    God that's embarrassing.
    'A magic negro popstar, icon of the boomers, once SAT here! in OUR town! Eating OUR 'national dish'! Feel pride in this most highest of honours, and know nothing you or we ever did or will do again can approach the glory this moment in history, frozen forever in time while you go about your dreary modern life'.

    Personally I'd do away with all blue plaques, not least of which because there's the inevitable tendency to descend to this level of nonsense and put them up everywhere...

    Replies: @Cortes, @Anonymous

    That’s just the Geordies [Tynesiders] for you. The news that a Saudi group is taking control of the local Premier League team from the well-hated London businessman Mike Ashley has been greeted with “breakdancing” by fans dressed up as Bedouins. Probably have Viz-type “Fat Slags” ululating at matches next.

    Anyway, here’s the official guide to the London plaques:

    https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/blue-plaques/about-blue-plaques/

  81. @S. Anonyia
    @S Johnson

    I don’t know about how often she is read today but relatively recently (in the early 2000s) her books were required reading in my school system....for a 5th grade gifted/humanities course and 7th grade English. So I’d bet a fair amount of millennials have read her books.

    Replies: @S Johnson

    ‘Lord of the Flies’ is another book by a Nobel winner that’s kept alive by being assigned on school reading lists, presumably because it holds the attention of boys. A. Waugh alleged that the plot was stolen from a forgotten Edwardian childrens’ book, which Golding denied, although the evidence he presented seems convincing (down to minor details like the appearances of the main characters, glasses, red hair, etc.).

    • Agree: S. Anonyia
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @S Johnson

    that’s kept alive by being assigned on school reading lists, presumably because it holds the attention of boys

    No, it's kept alive because it has an engaging plot and a thesis worth contemplating.

    Replies: @S Johnson

  82. @Colin Wright
    'Gurnah, 72, is the first Black writer to receive the prize since Toni Morrison in 1993...'

    Well, he's not really black -- more of a Zanzibar Arab.

    As such, he's not the first anything. Camus preceded him as the first African Nobel laureate in literature -- back in 1957. Camus was born in Algiers.

    Are we supposed to see a distinction between French colonialism and Omani colonialism?

    Replies: @GetReal

    The only real distinction there is between Camus and Gurnah is that the former had zero genetic origin in the colonized land while the latter is mixed between colonizer/colonized

  83. @Steve Sailer
    @S Johnson

    The Forsyte Saga on the BBC in the late 1960s was the first example of 21st Century style Quality Television. It's probably unwatchable today, but it was a great leap forward at the time. So Galsworthy's work contributed over a half-century even though it has faded from memory over the last half-century.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @Art Deco

    An abbreviated remake was broadcast in 2002-03, cut down from 26 episodes to 10.

  84. @S Johnson
    @S. Anonyia

    ‘Lord of the Flies’ is another book by a Nobel winner that’s kept alive by being assigned on school reading lists, presumably because it holds the attention of boys. A. Waugh alleged that the plot was stolen from a forgotten Edwardian childrens’ book, which Golding denied, although the evidence he presented seems convincing (down to minor details like the appearances of the main characters, glasses, red hair, etc.).

    Replies: @Art Deco

    that’s kept alive by being assigned on school reading lists, presumably because it holds the attention of boys

    No, it’s kept alive because it has an engaging plot and a thesis worth contemplating.

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @Art Deco

    All true, but I don’t get the impression that many people return to it after grade school. Or, say, read it to their kids, as a lot of parents do with the comparable ‘Watership Down’.

    Replies: @Colin Wright

  85. @epebble
    @S Johnson

    I read Good Earth as a boy and my knowledge of pre-revolutionary China is from this book. I remember it being a great and unputdownable book. Felt the same with Alex Haley's Roots. Did Haley get nominated for a Nobel? Unlike Buck, I find both Naipaul (Nobel) and Rushdie (no Nobel yet) very putdownable.

    Replies: @Art Deco

    Disagree. I can plow through Naipaul, though one does not really sympathise with his characters.

    Roots if I understand correctly was a mass of disorganized research material that Haley and his 3d wife assembled into a door stop book in an 18 month marathon of composition. She was not listed as a co-author, however. Haley was raked over the coals for plagiarism, though it only accounts for a tiny percentage of the book’s content (and his wife would likely not have known he’d read Harold Courlander’s book even if he remembered it). He was also criticized for errors in his genealogy (though AFAIK his critics did not bother to ascertain his correct pedigree).

    • Replies: @epebble
    @Art Deco

    Talking of Ms. Buck, Watch this about a "Melting Pot" problem of the 1940s - 60's:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIMED93CAkE

  86. @Art Deco
    @S Johnson

    that’s kept alive by being assigned on school reading lists, presumably because it holds the attention of boys

    No, it's kept alive because it has an engaging plot and a thesis worth contemplating.

    Replies: @S Johnson

    All true, but I don’t get the impression that many people return to it after grade school. Or, say, read it to their kids, as a lot of parents do with the comparable ‘Watership Down’.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    @S Johnson

    'All true, but I don’t get the impression that many people return to it after grade school. Or, say, read it to their kids, as a lot of parents do with the comparable ‘Watership Down’.'

    That actually brings up a point. Science fiction and fantasy seems to be decidedly underrepresented in all this.

    Replies: @S Johnson

  87. @Art Deco
    @epebble

    Disagree. I can plow through Naipaul, though one does not really sympathise with his characters.

    Roots if I understand correctly was a mass of disorganized research material that Haley and his 3d wife assembled into a door stop book in an 18 month marathon of composition. She was not listed as a co-author, however. Haley was raked over the coals for plagiarism, though it only accounts for a tiny percentage of the book's content (and his wife would likely not have known he'd read Harold Courlander's book even if he remembered it). He was also criticized for errors in his genealogy (though AFAIK his critics did not bother to ascertain his correct pedigree).

    Replies: @epebble

    Talking of Ms. Buck, Watch this about a “Melting Pot” problem of the 1940s – 60’s:

  88. @sb
    I recall the English writer Tim Parkes writing a very good piece on why we shouldn't take the Nobel Prize for Literature seriously
    But I realise that Americans just love awards of all kinds .
    Guess it saves one the trouble of having to make up ones own mind about stuff

    Replies: @Art Deco, @Colin Wright

    ‘I recall the English writer Tim Parkes writing a very good piece on why we shouldn’t take the Nobel Prize for Literature seriously
    But I realise that Americans just love awards of all kinds .
    Guess it saves one the trouble of having to make up ones own mind about stuff’

    There seems be a non-sequitur somewhere here. What was the nationality of the writer who bothered to write about this?

  89. @S Johnson
    @Art Deco

    All true, but I don’t get the impression that many people return to it after grade school. Or, say, read it to their kids, as a lot of parents do with the comparable ‘Watership Down’.

    Replies: @Colin Wright

    ‘All true, but I don’t get the impression that many people return to it after grade school. Or, say, read it to their kids, as a lot of parents do with the comparable ‘Watership Down’.’

    That actually brings up a point. Science fiction and fantasy seems to be decidedly underrepresented in all this.

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @Colin Wright

    Tolkien would have been the obvious choice in retrospect, both for his contributions to philology and “The Lord of the Rings”, but I don’t believe “Rings” was particularly highly regarded by literary types during his lifetime. Auden was one of its few highbrow fans.

  90. @Johann Ricke
    An Oriental composer gets the third degree from a Black student.

    https://www.michigandaily.com/news/academics/following-blackface-incident-professor-bright-sheng-takes-step-back-from-teaching-smtd-composition-course/

    Increasingly, stuff like this and amusing legal concepts like "mutual combat" being applied to gangland killings will probably shift this demographic away from the Democratic party. Thanks to continuing chain migration, the electoral impact could be seismic.

    Italians started voting in equal numbers for both parties after almost 100 years of mass immigration. They were previously loyal Democrats voting in lockstep for ward heelers like the Pelosi clan. For Hispanics, the immigration floodgates opened in the 80's, after the Reagan amnesty. Less than 40 years later, electoral parity for the two parties re the Hispanic vote may be in sight:

    https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_michael_barone/both_parties_ignorance_of_electoral_reality_has_led_to_our_present_discontents

    Replies: @Eric Novak

    Ridiculous Cuckservative clowning-Hispanics will not ever be voting against affirmative action, \$18,000 EITC/ACTC checks, and hundreds of billions in welfare benefits that permit them to live in the US in the first place. Hispanics voted 70/30 for the left in 1968, when exit polling first began for them, and voted a bit more than 70/30 for the left in 2020. Every election cycle adds several million more Hispanic votes for the left.

  91. @Colin Wright
    @S Johnson

    'All true, but I don’t get the impression that many people return to it after grade school. Or, say, read it to their kids, as a lot of parents do with the comparable ‘Watership Down’.'

    That actually brings up a point. Science fiction and fantasy seems to be decidedly underrepresented in all this.

    Replies: @S Johnson

    Tolkien would have been the obvious choice in retrospect, both for his contributions to philology and “The Lord of the Rings”, but I don’t believe “Rings” was particularly highly regarded by literary types during his lifetime. Auden was one of its few highbrow fans.

  92. Never heard of him, and, I suspect, never had anyone else until now.

    I think the Nobel Prize in Literature evolved in recent decades to a high form of trolling.

    For instance, they gave it to Bob Dylan just in order to screw over Philip Roth, whom they didn’t appear to like so much for some reason (“me too”?).

    After thus filling the “Jewish quota”, to fill the “Japanese quota” then they gave it to Kazuo Ishiguro in order to irritate Murakami and his fans. (I don’t know what the Nobel has against Murakami).

    And they never gave it to Borges (supposedly because he was right wing), but instead they gave it to few other less famous South American writers to fill the “Latin American” quota.

    This is more of the same, although I don’t know which writer they were trying to piss off this time.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    @Dumbo

    'This is more of the same, although I don’t know which writer they were trying to piss off this time.'

    I think it had more to do with blackity blackity black.

    The Times actually describes dude as 'black' -- which is ironic, if one considers that he was driven from his homeland for not being black.

    I suspect, though, that he can actually write reasonably well, and they couldn't find a real negro this year who could, so, since the winner had to be black, they just hit upon the happy device of declaring dude 'black' -- and after all, dude clearly has a touch of the old tar barrel. Those Arabs would stock the harem with just about anything.

    ...but all the same. I imagine dude's grandparents would be mortally offended if you told them they were black.

  93. I hate to say this but that really is an beautifully constructed headline for this piece.
    It got me thinking about where else I could find this appreciation for the language and I can think of half a dozen or so sites, all White and mostly Right. I do not know where to begin to look to find a black one. Anybody have any ideas?

    Is there a niche here that Mr Unz could fill?

  94. @Dumbo
    Never heard of him, and, I suspect, never had anyone else until now.

    I think the Nobel Prize in Literature evolved in recent decades to a high form of trolling.

    For instance, they gave it to Bob Dylan just in order to screw over Philip Roth, whom they didn't appear to like so much for some reason ("me too"?).

    After thus filling the "Jewish quota", to fill the "Japanese quota" then they gave it to Kazuo Ishiguro in order to irritate Murakami and his fans. (I don't know what the Nobel has against Murakami).

    And they never gave it to Borges (supposedly because he was right wing), but instead they gave it to few other less famous South American writers to fill the "Latin American" quota.

    This is more of the same, although I don't know which writer they were trying to piss off this time.

    Replies: @Colin Wright

    ‘This is more of the same, although I don’t know which writer they were trying to piss off this time.’

    I think it had more to do with blackity blackity black.

    The Times actually describes dude as ‘black’ — which is ironic, if one considers that he was driven from his homeland for not being black.

    I suspect, though, that he can actually write reasonably well, and they couldn’t find a real negro this year who could, so, since the winner had to be black, they just hit upon the happy device of declaring dude ‘black’ — and after all, dude clearly has a touch of the old tar barrel. Those Arabs would stock the harem with just about anything.

    …but all the same. I imagine dude’s grandparents would be mortally offended if you told them they were black.

  95. ‘It appears that mainland blacks got themselves across the 15 mile wide expanse of ocean between the the mainland and the island of Zanzibar because they were there already when the Omanis arrived, although perhaps they were brought as slaves a couple of thousand by middle eastern or South Asian mariners?’

    It’s my guess that this is what happened with Madagascar. Blacks aren’t very enterprising when it comes to sea voyages ‘n stuff.

  96. @Jim Don Bob
    @Guest29048


    Reminds me of Naipaul’s novel “A Bend in the River.” .... I first heard of the novel from this blog.
     
    Me, too. Then I read it and could not see what all the fuss was about. The narrator was neurotic and some of his exploits did not ring true to me.

    Replies: @International Jew

    One theme is how the protagonist, along with the thin veneer of civilization around him, survives thanks to the protection of some far-off power (at first Belgian, later a first-generation African big man). When that power retreats, the locals lay everything to waste and the jungle reclaims what’s left.

  97. @Inselaffen
    @Cortes

    God that's embarrassing.
    'A magic negro popstar, icon of the boomers, once SAT here! in OUR town! Eating OUR 'national dish'! Feel pride in this most highest of honours, and know nothing you or we ever did or will do again can approach the glory this moment in history, frozen forever in time while you go about your dreary modern life'.

    Personally I'd do away with all blue plaques, not least of which because there's the inevitable tendency to descend to this level of nonsense and put them up everywhere...

    Replies: @Cortes, @Anonymous

    Yes, blue plaques like all markers of prestige are subject to inflation, which renders them increasingly ridiculous.

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The Shaping Event of Our Modern World
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