Monday, January 04, 2010

Predictions 2010

An American will win the Nobel Prize in Literature. It will not be Barack Obama.

The Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics’ Circle Award will be given to three different novels. All three authors will be professors in creative writing programs. Applications to their programs will continue to decline.

Martin Amis’s twelfth novel The Pregnant Widow will be universally reviled by critics on the Left. They will not prevent it from becoming a bestseller in both the U.K. and U.S.

Philip Roth will publish Nemesis, his twenty-seventh novel, leading even more critics to scoff that he has reached the end of the line. They will be wrong. Again.

Another sex scandal will engulf another “famous” poet. No one will notice.

Borders will announce the shuttering of about a third of its retail stores and will lay off half its work force.

Amazon will unveil a Kindle that is compatible with Nintendo’s Wii gaming system.

The Modern Language Association will vote at its December convention to condemn the successful Israeli strike upon nuclear installations in Iran, which by then will have had the effect of galvanizing the Green Movement to overthrow the mullahs and create a fledgling democratic régime. The English professors won’t care.

Christopher Buckley will finish his novel satirizing a posh conservative writer who fell for a messianic left-wing presidential candidate. Two years later he will announce that he is voting to reelect Obama.


Denver Bibliophile said...

My prediction: D. G. Myers will publish his book on Roth and appear on NPR's Fresh Air to talk with Terry Gross.

D. G. Myers said...

Wait till next year!

Denver Bibliophile said...

I think I will review as many books by Roth as I can get to as part of the Year of Roth Festival in anticipation of your book.

R/T said...

William Kristol of The Weekly Standard recently quipped, with his tongue in cheek, that mystery author Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008) should win next year's Nobel Prize in Literature. Kristol, of course, is wrong, but Westlake would be an improvement upon some recent winners.

More to the point, though, I worry that both you and Kristol and are wrong: The list of recent winners suggests that Barack Obama may, in fact, be next year's winner, which will prove once again that somewhere in the universe, the post-post-modern gods of literature have a mean-spirited sense of humor.

As for the rest of your predictions, some of which are cause for celebration, and some of which are cause for plenty of smiling, I suspect you may be quite correct.

And to follow up on Denver Bibliophile's prediction, keep us informed about when your tribute to Roth will be published. And then tell us the reaction among colleagues within the ivy-clad halls of academia. Those reactions ought to be even more interesting than your prognostications for 2010.

Finally, all the best to for the new calendar year from the world-weary adjunct on the Gulf coast.

Buce said...

In lieu of Donald Westlake, who has the handicap of being dead, a presentable substitute would be Larry Block, a friend of Westlake's and a master of New Yorky tough-guy dark comedy. To add a patina to his resume, he did a 9/11 novel. And fun fact: in his youth, he wrote a bit of lesbian porn.

D. G. Myers said...


What is Lawrence Block’s 9/11 novel? The early, pulpy Block I really enjoy; I haven’t liked the later stuff as much.

Chris Pine said...

The Kindle prediction is interesting. I'd like to see more social connectivity with other Kindle users. We all have a device with an internet connection. We should be able to comment on each others books, play scrabble with each other, book clubs, etc.

R/T said...

Buce, good point about Westlake being replaced by Block. Are you referring to SMALL TOWN as Block's 9/11 novel?