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John O'Hara and the Nobel Prize

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2016 11:25 am
During his lifetime, John O'Hara published 14 novels and hundreds of short stories.

Quote:
He knew, probably better than any other American writer, about social class in this country; about all the subtle markers and distinctions used to indicate rungs in the hierarchy, and about how rigid and fragile the system is, a maze of envy, snobbery and insecurity.

Charles McGrath: John O'Hara, Short Stories (2016), Library of America.

Quote:
Buried in the Princeton Cemetry, the inscription on his headstone,written by O'Hara himself, reads "BETTER/THAN ANYONE ELSE/HE TOLD THE TRUTH/ ABOUT HIS TIME/HE WAS/ A PROFESSIONAL/HE WROTE/HONESTLY AND WELL".

Charles McGrath: John O'hara, Short Stories (2016), Library of America

Till the day of his death, O'Hara dreamed of winning a Nobel Prize. This was not to be, however and I have always wondered why.
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 890 • Replies: 10
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ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2016 12:03 pm
@Miller,
I remember reading and liking O'Hara, but I forget the exact books.
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Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2016 03:41 pm
O'Hara was and is one of those authors I love reading. Discovered him on a bookshelf in my grandmother's apartment when in my teens and still keep a few of his books on my shelves.

As far as the whys, who really knows? The prize committee sometimes has made choices that seem to make no sense to anyone and the same could he said for those authors who've been overlooked.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2016 04:20 pm
@Sturgis,
They only pick one each year. It's not like the rock and roll hall of fame. Smile
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ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2016 04:29 pm
The master list of past winners.

How many of these authors have you sampled?

https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2016 04:33 pm
@ehBeth,
Just scrolled through. I've read / sampled 38 or 39 of the Laureates ' works.

My favourite goes back to the 1928 Laureate, Sigrid Undset, with Toni Morrison a very close second for me.

There were several years with no award and a couple of years where there were 2 awards.


(I don't think I'd ever heard of any of the winners from before 1920)
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2016 05:12 pm
@ehBeth,
I have not read so many of them. I quit school turning sixteen and followed my own nose in reading. Sound and the Fury I had a copy but never completely read it. I did read four other Faulkner books, though, so I don't feel deprived.
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Miller
 
  2  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2016 11:19 pm
I recently bought a used copy of "The O'Hara Concern" by Mattheu J. Bruccoli, on Amazon. This book, like so many other books today, is a library discard, having originated from California State College, Sonoma Library.
This book, even has a little card in it's front , inner cover, showing some of the dates the book was checked out.

In some ways, it's nice to remember the "old" days before the computer, when people checked out library books, and library cards and library books were each rewarded with a little stamp.



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saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Oct, 2016 01:26 am
Just took a look and I have seven of O´Hara´s books. I enjoyed them very much, but it is years since I read them. Should maybe reread them.
I have read the majority of the Nobel Prize winners. Many of them belong to the classics one had to read in school, others any the slightest educated person would have read.
And of course as a Swede we followed the discussions we great interest.
There has been a few one simply could not understand why they got the prize.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Oct, 2016 09:34 am
@saab,
As I recall,several of his novels were made into movies, that were very popular.
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Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Oct, 2016 01:09 pm
@ehBeth,
I've read several of the authors listed and a few of their noted works which got them to prize status, going back to Henryk Sienkiewicz (1905 winner) who gave us Quo Vadis (although I believe my copy may have been translated since I never learned Polish).

Then there was Kipling (1907)
Knut Pedersen Hamsun (1920), and I read his Growth of the Soil (also translated as I don't know Norwegian).
...and so on down the line.
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