...and The Nobel Prize in literature 2005 goes to Richard Calder...
No way! Sure the guy deserves it, but I doubt he qualifies since I don't think much enough in his books or character reflects the personalities of the members of the Nobel Prize jury - the quirk lies in the grand guignol
and the sci-fi elements I suppose - you just can't run too far ahead if you want rewards you know; there's no one there to give them to you.
Richard Calder is one in a very small clique of artists which I feel touch the same creative vein as my own, Hayao Miyazaki is another (the man behind Spirited Away
- throw him a Nobel Prize too). All books I've read by Calder are written in a first-person narrative/perspective, which makes it very easy to slip into the visions he describes. One gets the feeling that the writer always puts himself as the main character in his books, a fact that is particularly interesting since the main character not only often during a Dante-inspired journey through heavens and hells evolves into some kind of super being, but also becomes painfully and acutely aware of embarrassing flaws and short-comings in his character.
The Nobel Prize association isn't that far fetched, the style and cynical yet in a sense deeply humane view of people and society, especially in Calders's trilogy Dead Girls
, Dead Boys
and Dead Things
lies quite close to that of last year's winner Elfride Jelinek - Jelinek goes cyber, kind of.
The first book I read by Calder was Impakto
, and it might still today be the best book I've read. The story is about a nerdish middle age man who gets possessed by hundreds of thousands of demons, discovers that he himself is an aborted demon, gets an artificial hand by his new companion; a female artificier
, and then embarks on a journey through both hell and heaven in order to avenge existence itself it seems, killing demons and angels by their thousands - in the best Doom
style - but still blended with this deeply humane perspective on things. The essence seems to be that God and Satan really are bastards who made us and placed us in this meat grinder of a universe and it's at them we should fire our weapons - not on ourselves.
Calder is a hard read, acts quite ruthless with the reader, makes constant associations to obscure cultural phenomenes and generously throws in phrases in latin, spanish and other languages in a rather elitistic manner - a feat which I love, but probably scares away less brainy readers. But for fucks sake, leave at least something for us with an IQ above profanum vulgus
to chew on in a world full of crap litt
erature made to keep less intellectually gifted readers in line.
Much of the negative criticism I've read about Calder seems to come from people who aren't intelligent enough to follow his twists and turns, and feel annoyed because they are out-smarted, critics who think the lastest pre-chewed crappings from Dan Brown, Tom Clancy or some of the other clones stands for the standard of excellence. Brrr.