Gerald Murnane must be spitting chips. The Nobel Prize for Literature won’t be handed out this year. Not because the prize has become a global joke (recipients of the recent past: Mo Yan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Bob Dylan); not because there’s no-one worthy (now that should be a reason), but because the Committee may be under legal interdict.
The criteria for inclusion in the Academy, and its selections, are obscure. Academicians must be blonde, of course. They gather at a secret location, parking their Volvos underground. Then, over herring eaten-off recyclable plates, the sound of “Fernando” tinkling gently in the background, they sit around and work out, by consensus, which is the most obscure writer from the most obscure country (vide: Svetlana Alexievich). And, of course, conservatives need not apply.
It isn’t clear why a bunch of trolls can dictate why we must venerate books where folks wash rollmops and dream of smorgasbords, or write like Herta Müller.
In any case, happily, we can announce here, exclusively, a new award of great prestige: The Savile.
The Savile will be awarded annually to a “celebrity of long good-standing in the community who has been spectacularly displaced from that reputation due to allegations of misconduct of a sexual nature.”
The Savile Academy is made-up of persons (the list is confidential) who are appointed for life unless they are disqualified by virtue of becoming the subject of any #Me Too allegations.
Particular care is taken to ensure that the allegations made are credible (whether they are proved or not is immaterial: if the allegations are credible, they are of course presumed to be true).
Extra credit is accorded nominees whose misconduct occurs in a place of high risk – for actors, at the Academy Awards; for writers, at a Festival; for painters and sculptors, at a Gallery; for musicians, at a concert. Film Producers receive extra credit for deeds done at the Beverley Hills Hotel or Chateau Marmont (where such things are expected and hence, more risky).
The Savile Academy stresses that it neither makes nor implies any findings of misconduct vis-à-vis the nominees. It nominates, and confers the Award, based on allegations only. (Finding facts about sexual misconduct is simply too hard and tricky)
This year’s Nominees: