Sunday, February 10, 2008

Big names who didn't make the cut this year

It's not true that there was a story by Katherine Mansfield sent in, or rather that would seem to be a kite flown by one of our commenters in a teasing and jocular vein. I don't think Ms Mansfield has a workable email, under the rules, and seances are at best unreliable.

I think I have read all of KM's marvellous stories, seen and heard them performed, for example at last year's Small Wonder short story festival—a marvellous production of stories dramatised from "In A German Pension" with Andrew Sachs, the divine Eleanor Bron etc. I've read "Bliss and Other Stories" so many times that the old paperback copy on my shelf is falling to bits.

Regretfully the entries from Hemingway, Nabokov, Carver, and Italo Calvino had to be disqualified on account of the authors being dead (in spite of representations that Raymond Carver's editor had cut the heart out of his work first time round). Most painfully, for me personally, Frank O'Connor too.

For next year, we will try to clarify the rule about the non-eligibilty of posthumous entries. In any case it appears that the entries in some of these cases did not represent their finest work.



Anonymous said...

i'm dead?

raymond carver

Dave Nabokov said...

That's not Carver. It's too wordy.

I on the other hand, man, writer, human, a user of sensations, a man who turns to hear the bark of a dog and hears in that bark a portent of my own death, a man who stands on this day to feel a shower of February sunlight cascade onto my upturned face and hear the breeze rustle through the faded leaves still left on the thin bushes under the bare branches of the unexpected oak by the black painted shack - I now know why standing behind the door this last week waiting to hear the weary trudge of the dishevelled postman bringing me my reward of English pounds has been, and would forever have been, time lost to me.

So then - dobry den.

Shameless said...

So this woman sitting here in the room with me is not Katherine Mansfield? Bloody hell! I've been tricked! She is out in the cold forthwith, having promised that what she was dictating to me would definitely win the Willesden - she said she used to love walking through Willesden with Virginia, arguing about who could claim to be the greatest living writer. OK, expect more of a Françoise Sagan-type story from me next year; she really did used to live in my building! :-)

Navin said...

I say we let sleeping(decomposing) consumptive colonials lie.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean no pissup at the end of February?

Ossian said...


Shameless said...

Just to let you know that I've posted about this Mansfield incident over at my blog: