The Nobel Prize for what?

[Posted 7:57 AM by Roger Kimball]

Last year it was Elfriede Jelinek, the Austrian pornographer and anti-American fantasist. This year it is Harold Pinter. "The Nobel Prize for Literature." Right. I mean Left. What is with the Swedes? G�nter Grass (1999), Jos� Saramago (1998), and Dario Fo (1997): have they ever encountered a Communist or anti-American scribbler they don’t adore? Mark Steyn once defined the "Pinteresque" as "a pause followed by a non sequitur." That’s good, as far as it goes, but it is important to note that with Pinter the "sequitur" is always trailing in one direction: leftward. Consider Pinter’s acceptance speech on the occasion of being given an honorary degree from the University of Turin a couple of years ago. Referring to the terrorist attacks of Septmber 11, Pinter had this to say:

The atrocity in New York was predictable and inevitable. It was an act of retaliation against constant and systematic manifestations of state terrorism on the part of the United States over many years, in all parts of the world.
The Nobel Prize committee long ago demonstrated that its prizes for the arts were exercises in politically correct sermonizing. By choosing Harold Pinter, they have demonstrated that their sermons are ridiculous as well as repellent.