In honor of Kazuo Ishiguro’s recent designation as 2017’s Nobel Laureate in Literature, we’ve decided to hand out our own literary award. Here’s our shortlist of novels for folks who like their fiction to reflect the state of their football team: weird, sad, confusing, ambivalent, and yet brilliant, singular, and unforgettable.
The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro. This delicate, understated story about a butler in post-WWII England is centered on the question, “How do you qualify a life as well-spent, and how do you know when it’s been wasted?” Although suffused with the occasional hope, the exquisitely melancholy story juxtaposes the faithful and enthusiastic performance of one’s obligations with the desperate need to find love and be loved.
Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy. A violent Western in spare and beautiful prose that mirrors the harsh south Texan landscape, McCarthy’s masterpiece hinges on violence, but also encompasses gnostic philosophy, theodicy, and the nature of humanity. The book’s overall impression is one of a chaotic world swirling around a violent center, with a population either too ignorant or apathetic to understand it.
Perdido Street Station, China Miéville. Despite its initial appearance as a steampunk novel, it brilliantly and fully investigates what makes humans, well, human. Its fascination with that question, both at an individual and a societal level, elevates it far above most genre fiction, but the extraordinarily rich, detailed, and original universe that it introduces sets a new standard there, too.
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy. In a wildly well-reviewed debut novel, Roy spins a tale that eschews a linear narrative and forcalization, instead leaving the reader to piece together a story that spans 24 years. Although it’s ostensibly about the divisions of social class, it’s just as much about how a traumatic experience follows a person throughout their life.
Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset. More properly a trilogy of novels, the complete work spans well over 1,000 pages. With its meticulously-researched accounts of everyday life in 14th century Norway, it’s an archetypal work of historical fiction, but the title character’s struggles with her faith and her relationships to her family and acquaintances make it a timeless documentation of how people interact with love.
As members of the Viola Nation Academy of Sciences and Letters, which book deserves the prize?
This poll is closed
The Remains of the Day
Perdido Street Station
The God of Small Things
And for those of you who expected something a bit more football-related, well.
Here is what the lads on loan in Serie C are up to.
Ianis Hagi isn’t playing for the first team. Ianis Hagi is not happy about not playing for the first team. We aren’t happy about Ianis Hagi not being happy about not playing for the first team.
In case you hadn’t noticed, things aren’t working out super well right now. So maybe a change in formation to a 4-3-3 is the answer.
Of course, maybe three at the back is a better option.
Then again, maybe a plain and simple 4-4-2 is the best possible solution.
Or maybe you think talking about formations is stupid, and instead want to focus on some Fiorentina alumni. Here is an update on one of our, er, favorite players ever. No hard feelings here at all. Nope, none. Zilch. Zero. Zip. Nada.
Comment of the week
In a very late entry for this category, Quattro Stelle deserves all the recs for a good take on Mohamed Salah. And also for his constancy in keeping the Savicstache in the profile pic.
That’s it for this week, folks. Get outside every once in awhile.