Six Reasons Why Stephen King Should Be Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature

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prufrock21

Well-Known Member
Jun 2, 2011
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The Caribbean
There are many of us, Constant Readers especially, who believe Stephen King should be nominated for a Noble Prize in Literature. Purists may not agree with me, but I find there are solid reasons to consider Stephen King for such a prize. If we forgo the belief that genre writers are never considered for such a prize, then Mr. King’s name would be easily included in a list of possible nominees. You might ask, why now? Besides the reasons mentioned below, time is no longer on his side, and even literary geniuses (Mr. King is definitely one) cannot wait forever.

I understand that for this to happen, for Mr. King to be nominated—let alone, win—a change in attitude concerning horror writing must take place in the cultural communities that consider, regard and promote literature.

My reasons are the following:

1. First and foremost, I believe that such a prize is in his ka. As far as contemporary literature is concerned, and the horror genre in particular, Stephen King is the sine qua non, and therefore worthy of the prize.

2. Stephen King has dedicated his life to literature. Beginning with Carrie, his first published book, Mr. King has dedicated time, long hours and ceaseless energy to the production of a literary legacy. This has been more than a nine to five endeavor. Writing has been truly his calling, what he was definitely born to do. So much so that his literary output (both fiction and nonfiction) bears witness to his dedication and respect for his craft. Not every writer—not even bestselling ones—enjoy what they do. Stephen King does.

3. Stephen King’s literary output has enthralled and captivated millions of readers. Mr. King’s readers are legion. They read and enjoy his work with a passion accorded to only a few great writers. Truly Stephen King’s readers cannot be satisfied with reading only one of his books. Many, especially those he calls his “Constant Readers,” have read great chunks, a literary output which now surpasses over sixty books. Arguably one of the reasons why readers enjoy his work lies in the fact that Mr. King has created characters we care about, has explored ideas and developed themes that encompass a world, an entire universe. Not an easy task to be sure. In essence, Mr. King has opened a portal to literature, and those of his Constant Readers who have crossed the threshold, will never look back.

4. Stephen King in his fiction has captured the essence of modern America, and has offered it to the world. No doubt he is the modern master of the macabre. And when his work focuses on horror, the stories he conjures are geared to scare the bejesus out of many an unsuspecting reader. However, if in these tales we downplay the supernatural elements, what’s left is a surprising and suggestive look into the lives of the people of the US.

It, for example, is a story of a demonic being that feeds on children. But the book also narrates three decades of the people of a town in Maine. The Stand posits a virus which destroys much of humanity (prescient on Mr. King’s part, to be sure), but it is also a fascinating journey through the highways and byways of modern America. Hearts in Atlantis has the Vietnam war as a backdrop, and explores the moral consequences of that war.

Stephen King is the chronicler of modern America, as John Steinbeck was the chronicle of the Depression. His greatest achievement is that he has elevated the writing of terror to an art form, and in so doing made it palatable to scores of readers.

5. Stephen King has been not only a student, but also a master of the writing craft. He has been a prolific reader as well as writer. This love of literature, coupled with this overwhelming success as a bestselling author, has led him to reflect upon writing and the writer’s craft as few writers are capable of doing, with candor, sincerity and panache.

Many of his reflections and postulates on writing can be found in the forewords and afterwards of his books, and these constitute worthy examples of his brilliance as well. There is also On Writing, a nonfiction work which is part autobiography and memoir, and also offers readers inspiration as well as writing instruction.

And possibly his best (but less known) work on writing, Danse Macabre. In it Mr. King analyzes the horror genre from the point of view of a neophyte who finds in horror writing his calling. In this work is evident the writer’s profound knowledge of the horror genre, not only in literature but also films. Knowledge no doubt he has achieved through many long hours of dedication, work and study.

6. Stephen King is the vehicle through which horror writing should be given official recognition. Horror writing is not taken seriously as an art form, and for the most part is disparaged by literary criticism. It is ignored in some circles, especially when we invoked the Noble Prize committee. No doubt much of contemporary horror writing is deplorable and unworthy of receiving prizes. It is also a fact, however, that many writers of horror have shown authentic mastery of their craft and are the equal of other writers who pen so-called “serious” fiction. A few, such as Poe, Stoker, Lovecraft, and Mary Shelley, were once disparaged as authors of popular fiction but now are studied in colleges and considered classics.

The test of time has proven the value and enduring quality of their work. And our contemporary point of view, limited yet farsighted concerning what is art, should acknowledge officially the horror genre as legitimate.

What better way of doing this than by awarding Stephen King, one of the genre’s greatest exponents—the past and present of horror—the Nobel prize?
 

Tery

Say hello to my fishy buddy
Moderator
Apr 12, 2006
15,304
44,712
Bremerton, Washington, United States
Maybe FlakeNoir ,Dana Jean , Moderator ,Tery could he me recall-- was not there a movement way way back for just this very suggestion? I am recalling possible Mary/ Marew1 ??
I vaguely recall something but it didn't go anywhere. It may have to do with the nomination process, I'm not sure. I definitely agree that he should have been nominated long ago.

BTW prufrock21 it's "Nobel" so I fixed the thread title for you. ;)
 

FlakeNoir

Original Kiwi© SKMB®
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
44,082
175,641
New Zealand
Maybe FlakeNoir ,Dana Jean , Moderator ,Tery could he me recall-- was not there a movement way way back for just this very suggestion? I am recalling possible Mary/ Marew1 ??
I vaguely recall something but it didn't go anywhere. It may have to do with the nomination process, I'm not sure. I definitely agree that he should have been nominated long ago.

BTW prufrock21 it's "Nobel" so I fixed the thread title for you. ;)
There was something at one point I think, but I can't recall much about it now. In the past there has been a real snobbery in the 'literary world' and in digging around I found this article from 2003 when he'd been put forward for the National Book Foundation's award for "Distinguished Contribution to American Letters".
There are some scathing comments in the article, surely people have evolved a little since then?

I would love to see him gain recognition for his body of work, Stephen's writing cannot be shelved into one genre and he should definitely not be discounted because he is successful and prolific in his writing.
 

Edward John

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Aug 15, 2019
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I mean, they awarded the prize to Bob Dylan a while ago, might as well award it to Steve. These institutions are ridiculous, as exemplafied by awarding it to Bob.
 
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Edward John

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2019
4,004
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There are many of us, Constant Readers especially, who believe Stephen King should be nominated for a Noble Prize in Literature. Purists may not agree with me, but I find there are solid reasons to consider Stephen King for such a prize. If we forgo the belief that genre writers are never considered for such a prize, then Mr. King’s name would be easily included in a list of possible nominees. You might ask, why now? Besides the reasons mentioned below, time is no longer on his side, and even literary geniuses (Mr. King is definitely one) cannot wait forever.

I understand that for this to happen, for Mr. King to be nominated—let alone, win—a change in attitude concerning horror writing must take place in the cultural communities that consider, regard and promote literature.

My reasons are the following:

1. First and foremost, I believe that such a prize is in his ka. As far as contemporary literature is concerned, and the horror genre in particular, Stephen King is the sine quo non, and therefore worthy of the prize.

2. Stephen King has dedicated his life to literature. Beginning with Carrie, his first published book, Mr. King has dedicated time, long hours and ceaseless energy to the production of a literary legacy. This has been more than a nine to five endeavor. Writing has been truly his calling, what he was definitely born to do. So much so that his literary output (both fiction and nonfiction) bears witness to his dedication and respect for his craft. Not every writer—not even bestselling ones—enjoy what they do. Stephen King does.

3. Stephen King’s literary output has enthralled and captivated millions of readers. Mr. King’s readers are legion. They read and enjoy his work with a passion accorded to only a few great writers. Truly Stephen King’s readers cannot be satisfied with reading only one of his books. Many, especially those he calls his “Constant Readers,” have read great chunks, a literary output which now surpasses over sixty books. Arguably one of the reasons why readers enjoy his work lies in the fact that Mr. King has created characters we care about, has explored ideas and developed themes that encompass a world, an entire universe. Not an easy task to be sure. In essence, Mr. King has opened a portal to literature, and those of his Constant Readers who have crossed the threshold, will never look back.

4. Stephen King in his fiction has captured the essence of modern America, and has offered it to the world. No doubt he is the modern master of the macabre. And when his work focuses on horror, the stories he conjures are geared to scare the bejesus out of many an unsuspecting reader. However, if in these tales we downplay the supernatural elements, what’s left is a surprising and suggestive look into the lives of the people of the US.

It, for example, is a story of a demonic being that feeds on children. But the book also narrates three decades of the people of a town in Maine. The Stand posits a virus which destroys much of humanity (prescient on Mr. King’s part, to be sure), but it is also a fascinating journey through the highways and byways of modern America. Hearts in Atlantis has the Vietnam war as a backdrop, and explores the moral consequences of that war.

Stephen King is the chronicler of modern America, as John Steinbeck was the chronicle of the Depression. His greatest achievement is that he has elevated the writing of terror to an art form, and in so doing made it palatable to scores of readers.

5. Stephen King has been not only a student, but also a master of the writing craft. He has been a prolific reader as well as writer. This love of literature, coupled with this overwhelming success as a bestselling author, has led him to reflect upon writing and the writer’s craft as few writers are capable of doing, with candor, sincerity and panache.

Many of his reflections and postulates on writing can be found in the forewords and afterwards of his books, and these constitute worthy examples of his brilliance as well. There is also On Writing, a nonfiction work which is part autobiography and memoir, and also offers readers inspiration as well as writing instruction.

And possibly his best (but less known) work on writing, Danse Macabre. In it Mr. King analyzes the horror genre from the point of view of a neophyte who finds in horror writing his calling. In this work is evident the writer’s profound knowledge of the horror genre, not only in literature but also films. Knowledge no doubt he has achieved through many long hours of dedication, work and study.

6. Stephen King is the vehicle through which horror writing should be given official recognition. Horror writing is not taken seriously as an art form, and for the most part is disparaged by literary criticism. It is ignored in some circles, especially when we invoked the Noble Prize committee. No doubt much of contemporary horror writing is deplorable and unworthy of receiving prizes. It is also a fact, however, that many writers of horror have shown authentic mastery of their craft and are the equal of other writers who pen so-called “serious” fiction. A few, such as Poe, Stoker, Lovecraft, and Mary Shelley, were once disparaged as authors of popular fiction but now are studied in colleges and considered classics.

The test of time has proven the value and enduring quality of their work. And our contemporary point of view, limited yet farsighted concerning what is art, should acknowledge officially the horror genre as legitimate.

What better way of doing this than by awarding Stephen King, one of the genre’s greatest exponents—the past and present of horror—the Nobel prize?
They are not going to give Steve any kind of recognition, why would they? He doesn't match their incredibly narrow criteria for what makes a great writer. It's the fact that he sells so many copies that he gets annoyed, because to them success cannot come with speaking with literary reknown.
 
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mal

content
Jun 23, 2007
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I mean, they awarded the prize to Bob Dylan a while ago, might as well award it to Steve. These institutions are ridiculous, as exemplafied by awarding it to Bob.
I disagree. Bobby D. deserved his. Take the musical chords away and you've got some damn fine writing. Listen to (or read the lyrics to) 'Infidels'.
I agree that Stephen King should get one as well, based on everythng said above. I'll get the ball rolling...

I nominate Stephen King to receive the Nobel prize in literature.

We just need someone to second that nomination and then Ms. Mod can send it in to the Nobel Committee (if that's how it works).
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
9,682
65,192
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sweden
It is just a few people that has the right to nominate a person for the literature prize. 1, the members of the Swedish academy, 2, earlier winners of the prize, 3, Professors of literature at various universities around the world and 4, Presidents of societies of authors that are representative for their respective country.. People other than that are not allowed to nominate. Then the swedish academy chose a select few among these nominations and a commite among them read the important work of each author. Then the selection is made. If you look at the cathegories i think its unlikely he will even be nominated. Even so, say he was nominated he would have to appeal to the swedish academy. They are 18 in number and are either wellknown swedish authors or professors of literature. How much a person sell is totally irrelevant, likewise if the person has a big fanbase or not. And they are under obligation to look for authors worldwide. Also, they have never rewarded any author in either, SF, Horror or Crime genres. Right now i think the academy is to stiff to consider such a move. Also it was relatively recently that an american got it.

I seriously hope he'll get it but i also think that if he got it the academy would lose face in so many quarters that it would lose a lot of respect and even if they thought he was worth it, which i doubt, they wouldn't dare because of that.
 

Edward John

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2019
4,004
18,785
20
I disagree. Bobby D. deserved his. Take the musical chords away and you've got some damn fine writing. Listen to (or read the lyrics to) 'Infidels'.
I agree that Stephen King should get one as well, based on everythng said above. I'll get the ball rolling...

I nominate Stephen King to receive the Nobel prize in literature.

We just need someone to second that nomination and then Ms. Mod can send it in to the Nobel Committee (if that's how it works).
I don't know, maybe he does have great lyrics, I just hear that awful voice and music and usually turn it off. If we are talking about a musician who deserves a nobel prize for lyrics, then Alice Cooper should. Even Bobby D said so himself.
"Alice Cooper is the most ignored great songwriter ever"
Bob Dylan.
THHHHE TEEEMIES THEY ARRE AAAAAAAAAAAAA EVAAAA CHANGIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
9,682
65,192
55
sweden
I disagree. Bobby D. deserved his. Take the musical chords away and you've got some damn fine writing. Listen to (or read the lyrics to) 'Infidels'.
I agree that Stephen King should get one as well, based on everythng said above. I'll get the ball rolling...

I nominate Stephen King to receive the Nobel prize in literature.

We just need someone to second that nomination and then Ms. Mod can send it in to the Nobel Committee (if that's how it works).
When it comes to dylans prize.... I think it basically a mistake, not that dylan does not write great lyrics, he does, but if dylan is acceptable it opens the door for a lot of others. Leonard Cohen for instance.and other languages great lyrics of song. That dylan got is 1 because they wanted to be more popular, and 2 because he wrote in english so they did not have to do a lot of work to find his stuff. But it means that all the great lyrics in spanish, french and chinese are now comparable. And what is a great songlyric? It is not that its sold a lot of records that goes against all the academy has said before, and its not that the artist is known worldwide, that also goes against all the academy said before. It would have been better to create a new prize for great lyrics in popular music and let dylan got that. And i think Dylan will be a once thing. He didn't come to Stockholm and hold a speech at the ceremony which is expected if you havent healthreasons. Instead he sent a tape which wasn't well received. Dylan acted like he just cared about the money, not the prize and has propably closed the door for any other songlyricist winning it again ever because of his actions.
 

Edward John

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2019
4,004
18,785
20
It is just a few people that has the right to nominate a person for the literature prize. 1, the members of the Swedish academy, 2, earlier winners of the prize, 3, Professors of literature at various universities around the world and 4, Presidents of societies of authors that are representative for their respective country.. People other than that are not allowed to nominate. Then the swedish academy chose a select few among these nominations and a commite among them read the important work of each author. Then the selection is made. If you look at the cathegories i think its unlikely he will even be nominated. Even so, say he was nominated he would have to appeal to the swedish academy. They are 18 in number and are either wellknown swedish authors or professors of literature. How much a person sell is totally irrelevant, likewise if the person has a big fanbase or not. And they are under obligation to look for authors worldwide. Also, they have never rewarded any author in either, SF, Horror or Crime genres. Right now i think the academy is to stiff to consider such a move. Also it was relatively recently that an american got it.

I seriously hope he'll get it but i also think that if he got it the academy would lose face in so many quarters that it would lose a lot of respect and even if they thought he was worth it, which i doubt, they wouldn't dare because of that.
Do you think Mr Guillou will ever be nominated? :)
 

Edward John

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2019
4,004
18,785
20
When it comes to dylans prize.... I think it basically a mistake, not that dylan does not write great lyrics, he does, but if dylan is acceptable it opens the door for a lot of others. Leonard Cohen for instance.and other languages great lyrics of song. That dylan got is 1 because they wanted to be more popular, and 2 because he wrote in english so they did not have to do a lot of work to find his stuff. But it means that all the great lyrics in spanish, french and chinese are now comparable. And what is a great songlyric? It is not that its sold a lot of records that goes against all the academy has said before, and its not that the artist is known worldwide, that also goes against all the academy said before. It would have been better to create a new prize for great lyrics in popular music and let dylan got that. And i think Dylan will be a once thing. He didn't come to Stockholm and hold a speech at the ceremony which is expected if you havent healthreasons. Instead he sent a tape which wasn't well received. Dylan acted like he just cared about the money, not the prize and has propably closed the door for any other songlyricist winning it again ever because of his actions.
Tons of writers deserve it before Dylan. Fact. Plus, didn't he usa Spark Notes to compose his speech? Douche.