Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Academic Men a Menace on Booker Panel

There must be a lot of authorly fingernail chewing going on at the moment as we await the result of this year's Man Booker Prize. (I'm sitting here in yet another Ubud internet cafe waiting for the result to come in ... 'cos I don't have anyone but you guys to talk to tonight and everything closes so early here.)

Ahead of the results though, Louise Doughty, one of this year's Booker judges has had a swipe at male judges as she tells the Independent that they :
... "always have their eye on their reputations" and are too concerned with picking a "highbrow" author rather than a readable one. She added that they tended to made judgements based on "how well the winning book reflected on them", often choosing the most obscure and self-consciously highbrow novelist, rather than considering the best entry. ... "I don't think it's a good idea to have academics as judges on these prizes," she said. "Academics always have their eye on their reputations and always have a vested interest to pick someone as literary and obscure as possible. I think academics are always looking over their shoulder.
John Sutherland (as a male academic) disagrees with her (of course).

I'm not sure whether she's right or not, but it would be really nice to have a novel win that's capable of catching the public imagination ... as previous winners Enright and Banville really haven't.

6 comments:

Argus Lou said...

How would you vote if you were on the panel? How much you enjoyed a book? Its unputdownability? How much it touched you? How literary is it? How beautiful the writing? The scope of the story? Will it become a classic? All of the above? It's a hair-tearing decision, isn't it? ^_^

Damyanti said...

Arvind Adiga won the Booker....I had a feeling he will, a feeling not based on reading the book, so now is obviously the time to go read it:)

Jordan said...

So what about academic women? Would they be only half as bad?

bibliobibuli said...

men got hormone problems which give 'em bigger egos and make them drive their cars too fast.

Greenbottle said...

if it's all left to women i think they would like to have sophie fucking kinsella as a booker nominnee at least...

ah pong

Anonymous said...

What car? :) the hormone problems can be controlled :)

Anyway that's why I think awards are bunk, in the end we all read what we can relate to :)