Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize for Literature yesterday, and humbly said he thought it was a mistake.
I thought it was a mistake too, as I was sure it was my year!
I thought about including this explanation before, or a self-parody warning, but thought I’d tell the joke first, as it would otherwise spoil it. I didn’t really think I was in with a chance of winning it… but do think I’m capable of deserving it, even if I don’t now.
I made that point in XaW Files (8:15), when adding to Richard Flanagan’s thoughts on how writing empties you in an Imagine documentary, after he’d won the Man Booker Prize; he’d said there was no why, there just was:
Moreover, I have also felt the same as Flanagan: that each book written and published, or even poem or philosophical thought, diminishes you.
With the benefit of time, I think the reason I think that is that the writer is sharing themselves with the world, so that their thoughts and experiences are not all theirs anymore; your mind life is scattered all over the pages and world. This can be good and bad for your psyche and soul, hypothetically, releasing negativity and sharing positivity.
Our books from life experience are also material evidence of time elapsed. We can write a limited amount from personal experience in our finite time. Each book tells the story of a part of our lives that has passed. It has been lived and written.
In childhood and youth we look forward, with our minds and lives to fill with experiences, knowledge and memories. Writing about them is evidence that some have been found and achieved. However, it also shows that your life is not as full as it once was. You have already lived some of your life, and the hard evidence is on your written page; unavoidable evidence that your time in this life has diminished.’
Funnily enough, a quote featured in the FundsForWriters newsletter this week has a similar theme:
Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.
~American Tibetan Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chödrön
Parody and Satire Critical Theory High Cost Writing
I think critical writing can be the most costly, and especially self-analysis, self-parody and self-satire; as I try to do, in part so I think I am justified in criticising, parodying and satirising others.
I thought about writing freely that I thought there was a second mistake when they said Kazuo Ishiguro is an Englishman, but now only write it as an example of how I think it is beyond the political correctness line.
Japanese and Jewish (I’m not Either! – self-parody exclamation!!)
As the U.K. left make the ‘racist’ mistake of thinking they can say what they want about Jewish people (not that I’m Jewish!) because they are stereotypically whitish and westernish, the Japanese might seem similarly open to ‘free’ parody, but I know differently.
I know that my parody probably makes it even more unlikely that I won’t win any awards, or get a big publishing deal, but I continue to do it, because it’s what I want to write, and would rather write freely and poorly than censored and richly.
Mainly because I just wanted to, but also to show that I’m not bitter or jealous, except for self-parody comedy reasons seen above, I’ve started reading Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant book. It’s not his most famous work, but it was available, and sounds interesting with a British pagan history timeframe, and a protagonist called Axl (Axl Rose being the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, the band I named my first book after!).
The Guns N’ Roses Worker-Traveller, XaW Files: Beyond Humanity and my other great coffilosophical (not the first coffilosopher, but the first to name myself such, as far as I know) books are available on Amazon: