Some day, I will post an equation in LaTeX just to prove that I can (haha), but today we will look at the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Here is a sample poem by Louise Gluck -
Even now this landscape is assembling.
The hills darken. The oxen
sleep in their blue yoke,
the fields having been
picked clean, the sheaves
bound evenly and piled at the roadside
among cinquefoil, as the toothed moon rises:
This is the barrenness
of harvest or pestilence.
And the wife leaning out the window
with her hand extended, as in payment,
and the seeds
distinct, gold, calling
Come here, little one
And the soul creeps out of the tree.
It's quite good, I think, short, evocative, outside the self.
Some modern poets, especially American poets, go very deep into the self narrative and although you can draw universals out of that, I do find it a bit confining in a poetic form.
Some of my favorite poets (who take a very different approach) are T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, John Ashbury, and Ezra Pound. The first three create beautiful work - incantations, mythology, poems like paintings, and Ezra is there for the vast output from a real madman. Like Finnegan's Wake, you can really use a few dictionaries and skeleton keys to his work. And even then, some of it is just raving.
For other epic poets like that - Walt Whitman - who, in a funny moment at a sculpture garden recently, I heard recited to people assembled in a large open air tent. I did not join them seated there, but it was nice to hear some of his verses floating through the grove while I took pictures of the golden rod and rag weed along the trail. Whitman is unmistakable and the eminent bard of Democracy. : )
From the 1950s, you have Allen Ginsberg too - and Howl he does!
I think rather than criticizing some Nobel choices, it's more fun to think about who would we like to see win the Prize in the future. Paul said he looks at the winner's list to see what to avoid (an Anti-Literary Matter Reading list). But I have picked and chosen over the years and it is fun to make discoveries this way.
One more thought on the Prizes in general - for AI research - it could be entertaining to train on a group of past winners' texts and create a Meta-Nobel literature. Or create something from non-winners, remembering all the geographical, gender, and ethnicity considerations and just pull in a large collection of random novels and poems - develop a hybrid.
Anyway, just some musings - I like the Prizes and their announcements, especially Physics, Literature, and Economics.
Nassim could be nominated someday - and maybe he already has been. That would turn the Swedish Academy upside down and his Twitter account would explode!
Happy reading and writing too. : )
For your edification:
Nobel Prize - Physics website
Nobel Prize - Literature website
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences