… A Game Without Rules. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
… what is fascinating about international literary prizes is that the obstacles to choosing between writers coming from different cultures and working in different languages are so evident and daunting as to render the task almost futile; yet such is the appetite for international prizes and for winners that people do everything possible to overlook this. So what is the underlying purpose of these prizes? To what extent are novelists—like athletes in the Olympics, or soccer players in the World Cup—being asked to contribute to the building of a vast and for the moment largely imaginary global culture? In what way does this change the kind of literature that gets written, and the way it is written and talked about?