After winning Germany’s major award the Goethe prize earlier this year, Syrian poet Adonis has emerged as the frontrunner to be crowned Nobel literature laureate next month.
Ladbrokes has made the 81-year-old, described as “the most important Arab poet of our time” by the Goethe jury, its 4/1 favourite to win this year’s Nobel prize for literature, ahead of another octogenarian poet, the 80-year-old Swede Tomas Tranströmer, at 9/2. “Adonis has been a permanent fixture on the shortlist in the past and the odds suggest this could be his year,” said spokesman Alex Donohue.
Last year the betting firm backed Tranströmer to win the Nobel, but the 18-member Nobel Academy plumped for Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa instead. “After hitting the woodwork last year we think Tranströmer has a superb chance of atoning for defeat,” said Donohue.
The reclusive American writer Thomas Pynchon is at 10/1 at Ladbrokes, with perennial contenders the Algerian novelist Assia Djebar (12/1), Korean poet Ko Un (14/1), Australian poet Les Murray (16/1) and Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami (16/1) also frontrunners for the betting firm. The top 10 is completed by three new names in the running: Hungarian writer Peter Nadas at 12/1, Nepali poet Rajendra Bhandari and Indian poet K Satchidanandan, both at 20/1, with Romanian author Mircea Cărtărescu another new entry in 11th place.
“I have no interest in policing the content of such projects. However, as chief executive I am duty-bound to ensure that taxpayers are not footing a $420,000 bill for a project which does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the State and its citizens.”—
New Jersey governor Chris Christie, in a letter to New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Caren S. Franzini announcing the vetoing of a tax break benefiting the company that produces MTV’s Jersey Shore.
The tax credit was dubbed the “Snooki subsidy” by its opponents.
If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.
We could start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library. Where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books. You’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.
There’s also the gym. If you’re shy you could hang out with yourself in mirrors, you could put headphones in .
And there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.
And there’s prayer and meditation. No one will think less if you’re hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.
Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principals.
The lunch counter. Where you will be surrounded by chow-downers. Employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town and so they — like you — will be alone.
Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.
When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner. A restaurant with linen and silverware. You’re no less intriguing a person when you’re eating solo dessert to cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.
Go to the movies. Where it is dark and soothing. Alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then, take yourself out dancing to a club where no one knows you. Stand on the outside of the floor till the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching…because, they’re probably not. And, if they are, assume it is with best of human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating, and beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things, down your back like a brook of blessings.
Go to the woods alone, and trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there’re always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might’ve never happened had you not been there by yourself.
Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.
You could stand, swathed by groups and mobs or hold hands with your partner, look both further and farther for the endless quest for company. But no one’s in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts, some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept.
Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from preschool over to high school’s groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cuz if you’re happy in your head than solitude is blessed and alone is okay.
It’s okay if no one believes like you. All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relieved, keeps things interesting— life’s magic things in reach.
And it doesn’t mean you’re not connected, that community’s not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. take silence and respect it. if you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. if your family doesn’t get you, or religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.
You could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it.
Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud Says that America is for him a maximum-security prison Whose walls are made of RadioShacks and Burger Kings, and MTV episodes Where you can’t tell the show from the commercials, And as I consider how to express how full of shit I think he is, He says that even when he’s driving to the mall in his Isuzu Trooper with a gang of his friends, letting rap music pour over them Like a boiling Jacuzzi full of ballpeen hammers, even then he feels Buried alive, captured and suffocated in the folds Of the thick satin quilt of America And I wonder if this is a legitimate category of pain, or whether he is just spin doctoring a better grade, And then I remember that when I stabbed my father in the dream last night, It was not blood but money That gushed out of him, bright green hundred-dollar bills Spilling from his wounds, and—this is the weird part—, He gasped “Thank god—those Ben Franklins were Clogging up my heart— And so I perish happily,Freed from that which kept me from my liberty”— Which was when I knew it was a dream, since my dad Would never speak in rhymed couplets, And I look at the student with his acne and cell phone and phony ghetto clothesAnd I think, “I am asleep in America too, And I don’t know how to wake myself either,”And I remember what Marx said near the end of his life: “I was listening to the cries of the past,When I should have been listening to the cries of the future.” But how could he have imagined 100 channels of 24-hour cableOr what kind of nightmare it might be When each day you watch rivers of bright merchandise run past youAnd you are floating in your pleasure boat upon this river Even while others are drowning underneath youAnd you see their faces twisting in the surface of the waters And yet it seems to be your own handWhich turns the volume higher?
Please: be kind to boners. Nothing ruins an evening quicker than catching a glimpse of a demoralized boner sobbing into his foreskin. Remember the boner is always half full. Most boners sleep upside down in caves, ready to flutter into the world at the drop of a bra strap. Boners move in packs—rarely will you see one wandering alone in a train station. Look closer and you’ll usually find a second boner bobbing nearby. But it’s the lone boner, the Oswald boner, you must watch out for. Whatever you do, don’t challenge it. Don’t stare it directly in the eye.