Sunday, May 22, 2011

Philip Roth vs. Carmen Callil -Round 2 (Victory, Roth)

I have very limited time this weekend due to family obligations, but a couple of things did catch my eye this morning.

One is the Carmen Callil column from the Guardian's Culture section.  This is the piece in which Callil was to logically explain why she made such an ass of herself in regards to the Man Booker International award given to Philip Roth last week in honor of his "body of work."  As you will remember, Callil resigned from the committee in a snit after the award was announced, doing so in a way that was guaranteed to draw attention to her instead of allowing Roth to enjoy his moment.

So now comes the explanation, one written with much thought before going to print, one must assume.  This is the quote that particularly jumped out at me:
"So, to give this prize to yet another North American writer, when we had such great writers to choose from (the previous winner was the truly great Canadian writer, Alice Munro) suggests a limited vision, to say the least."
What is one to make of this brilliant defense?  Worthy Canadian authors (and Alice Munro certainly is one of those) are acceptable.  I highly suspect that Callil would have also jumped at the opportunity to give the award to a worthy North American from Mexico.  Does this mean that only American writers need not apply?

And, speaking of "limited vision," perhaps Carmen Callil should take a long, hard look at herself in the mirror.  Now that the woman has enjoyed her 15 minutes worth of fame, will she go away before she further embarrasses herself?  Not likely - she doesn't seem the type to retire gracefully from the field of battle.


  1. Am I mistaken in my impression that Canada is in North America?


  2. Proving, TLK, exactly how flawed the "logic" of this woman is. She is just making it up as she goes, obviously, but you would think that something she puts in writing could make a little more sense.