So the Nobel laureate in literature has been revealed. Yet another guy I have never heard of, and probably whose work I'll never read. Yet another French guy. Haven't we had a truck load of those already?
I was excited to learn that Haruki Murakami was among the nominees this year. I thought that maybe some things were beginning to change. But no.
I can tell you about authors who are important and who a great deal many people have heard of:
• Astrid Lindgren - her children's books shaped Swedish culture. But she wrote children's books (sometimes with a fantastical streak) and is thus not a worthy nominee for the Nobel prize. Not even posthumously.
If there's someone today worthy to be a Nobel laureate it's J.K. Rowling. How many of you sighed and rolled your eyes just now? Most of you, I assume. But hear me out.
• Harry Potter is the most sold children's book series ever. Not just the past 20 years, but since forever. That means it has sold more than The Wizard of Oz books and more than the Narnia books, and those series have had a 60-100 years to sell - Harry Potter has had less than 20 years.
• There aren't many places you can go (if anywhere) where people haven't heard of Harry Potter.
• And if you're looking for a reason those books have benefited humanity (as is the original demand for the prize): in an age where books have lost their importance in the eyes of young people the Harry Potter series has made an entire generation interested in reading. Fans have expressed a wish to learn Latin to better understand the spells. A book series that promotes reading and learning and succeeds - isn't that something special? Something to note?
But although I'm the one writing this, and although I really wish this would happen - I honestly think it never will. Because the social stigma that states that fantastical literature is crappy literature lives on.
So just for once I wish a fantastical writer could become a laureate. People always rush to buy and read the work of a newly announced laureate, and if my dream ever comes true that a fantastical writer is awarded the prize then that social stigma might just disappear and my work along with the work of other writers of fantastical genres will maybe finally be seen in a new and better light. The way it is now fantastical genres (especially fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, and horror) tend to be obscure genres for nerds that the general populace don't read.
It's fine if you've tried and didn't like it, but you can't throw a whole world away because it's, like one of my classmates in university French once said, hittepå (meaning made-up).