New Nobel Laureate

October 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

I seem to be among the majority that hasn’t read anything by the new Nobel Laureate, Patrick Modiano. That follows a personal trend. I hadn’t read anything by Elfreide Jelinek or Herta Muller, either, though I eventually read The Piano Teacher and have The Land of Green Plums on my shelf.

The Guardian live-blogged the announcement, waiting out media reaction with deployments of puff trivia:

The film database IMDb records that he is not only a fairly prolific screenwriter for both film and TV, but an actor, who appeared alongside Catherine Deneuve in the 1997 Raoul Ruiz film Genealogies of a Crime, playing a character called Bob.

None of Modiano’s books are yet available in the States, though Suspended Sentences, a collection of three novellas, will be released by Yale University Press in November.

Peter Englund of the Nobel Committee calls Modiano “a kind of Marcel Proust for our time, rewinding backwards,” and says his books, many about the World War II occupation of France, “speak to each other, … echo off each other, … are about memory, identity and seeking.” It is hard not to think of W. G. Sebald upon hearing that description, and among writers who perished before their time, Sebald, in my opinion, was most deserving of a Nobel.


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