Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And the winner is...

I used to think literary prizes were silly, no wait, I still do, but I do like the person who just won the Booker (oh, my apologies magnanimous corporate sponsor, I mean the Man Booker prize).

Hilary Mantel just won the sash for her weighty tome Wolf Hall. I don't know Hilary Mantel from a stick of licorice, but given her prize-related soundbites I'd be honoured to shout her a beer and bowl of peanuts if she's ever in Sydney.

According to the UK's Telegraph, Mantel professed herself “heartened, delighted, encouraged, strengthened and a little bemused” to be the favourite. Yes yes heartened, yawn yawn delighted, but bemused! I do so love a bemused writer (Bob Ellis would be constantly bemused, don't you think?).

Moving on to Mantel's post-prize soundbites, she said: "I hesitated for such a long time before beginning to write this book, actually for about 20 years."

Boom tish!

And, she was good enough to provide a soundbite for the morbidly-inclined amongst us:

"If winning the Booker Prize is like being in a train crash, at this moment I am happily flying through the air."

Exactly.

And because my life plan is to sunbake and snort cocaine when I retire, I'm delighted to hear Mantel (who's 57) has quipped that she plans to spend her prize money on "sex, drugs and rock'n'roll".

So I'm happy to announce that the delightful Ms Mantel is my new hero (or literary prize anti-hero hero), but this doesn't mean there isn't any room in my heart for the judging, ah, intelligentsia. "Our decision," the chair of the judging panel has explained, “was based on the sheer bigness of the book, the boldness of its narrative, its scene-setting, the gleam that there is in its detail."

Yes that's right, Mantel's book won because of its 'sheer bigness'. Tell that to Coetzee.

17 comments:

the projectivist said...

so
it looks like you've got 2 years to write your book then. best make a start now!

Kettle said...

At least now I know as long as my book has a lot of 'bigness' it will be in the running. Mantel's book is around 650 pages which is pretty bigness. So far I've got this far on page one of mine: "It was a dark and stormy night" so just another 649.5 pages along these lines and I'm done, right?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Your book should include the following themes Cde. Kettle, if you want to be in the running for the Man Booker.

* The deconstruction of gender,

* The struggle of faith in a post-colonial world,

* The struggle of faith in a post-modern world,

* A reflection on the art of novel writing itself,

* Some raunchy sex.

No need to thank me.

Kettle said...

Ramon I think you might have coached Rushdie through the Booker! I'm going to address you as "Ramon 'Sure Thing' Insertnamehere" from now on.

the projectivist said...

i wish that i could post some pictures for you here, but i can't - so i've popped them on my blog for you.

some nice inspiration to get you started on your new novel.
now that you've got the opening line down - the rest should be a snap.

squib said...

Call me old fashioned, *coughKettleandRamoncough* but I like to gush about a book, after I've actually read it

Kettle, are you writing this Booker prize winner before or after you've done that French translation. Hmmm?

Kettle said...

Ah dear Ms P, I love how you say 'new novel' as though I have an entire back catalogue of published works (*sigh* I don't, I did have a poem (called 'My Neighbour's Cat') published in the Sydney Morning Herald funnies section when I was eight, if that counts? I suspect not).

Despite the complete absence of my new (read: any) novel I did thoroughly enjoy your cartoons and suspect they would have been even funnier if I was actually a writer, eh. Glad to have you back blogging, Missy Moo.

Oh dear Squib! I could attempt to lie and say I've not been lazy with the translation but have in fact been allowing the words to percolate (quick! Sound the wanker alert!) in order to really understand the essence of Steele's already translated linguistic finery, but you would see through me and know I had actually been watching too much 'Dr Who' and faffing about in the kitchen making muffins (orange and poppyseed). I can't get anything past you, can I?

I'm determined to win my Darwin button, though, so I will finish my four pages!

squib said...

I love Doctor Who and orange and poppyseed muffins. Is it true, that if you eat enough poppyseeds, you can get a bit euphoric?

Kettle said...

Squib I think my recent ramblings about the Booker would suggest yes, poppyseeds do have an effect on one's mental state (I think you already knew that but just wanted me to say it, right? Accepting you have a problem is the first step, etc?).

Hey, I'm not sure I'm down with Martha yet but she just got the keys for the Tardis (on the telly repeats last week). Did she grow on you?

squib said...

Martha was okay. At least she kept her paws off the Doctor, not like that shameless hussy Rose

Kettle said...

That's good to hear (about Martha), although she's certainly been making eyes at him, and right in front of me too!

Frankly I think the Doctor might be a bit of a lad, what with all his lady friends. I'm sure he'll settle down when he comes to take me travelling, right?

squib said...

Yeah, but by then he'll be played by Matt Smith and you may wind up looking like his aunty or something

Kettle said...

Gosh Squib I don't even know who Matt Smith is. I think I am already that aunty!

squib said...

He's the 11th doctor, Kettle. Everyone knows that

the projectivist said...

i'm that auntie too, obviously.

does the doctor actually have physical relations with any of these fawning women?

i bet that Rose would have been in bed quick as anything. she was a bit of a slapper, wasn't she?

the projectivist said...

(an aside)

any chance of a new blog any time soon Mrs Squib? hmmmmm?

Kettle said...

Squib, it looks like Ms P and I are already auntified. That's actually quite a relief! Now we can wear our slippers everywhere.

Ms P, I'm pretty sure David Tennant is saving himself for me so it's unlikely he's had relations with any of his fawning lady friends. Delusional? Yes, I most certainly am.

And I agree, Ms P: when is Mrs Squib going to get her blog started again? Let's just keep chipping away at her. I reckon she'll fold by 2016, eh.