Premios Nobel (Continuación)

In the late 1960s Mao Zedong, China’s Great Helmsman, encouraged children and adolescents to confront their teachers and parents, root out “cow ghosts and snake spirits,” and otherwise “make revolution.” In practice, this meant closing China’s schools. In the decades since, many have decried a generation’s loss of education.

Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was sentenced to eleven years for “inciting subversion” of China’s government, and who died of liver cancer on Thursday, illustrates a different pattern. Liu, born in 1955, was eleven when the schools closed, but he read books anyway, wherever he could find them.…  Seguir leyendo »

As we look back on 2016, and perhaps fret about 2017, we can take some solace in the remarkable things we know and continue to learn about the universe. In addition to a better understanding of the 5 percent of matter that has been well studied and understood, scientists are unlocking mysteries about the rest — 25 percent of it dark matter, and the remaining 70 percent dark energy.

Dark matter interacts gravitationally the way that ordinary matter does — clumping into galaxies and galaxy clusters, for example — but we call it “dark” because it doesn’t interact, in any perceptible way, with light.…  Seguir leyendo »

When I heard that Bob Dylan had received the Nobel Prize for literature, I was mildly surprised. He writes music, popular music. As did George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, both of whom almost certainly wrote better music. I have nothing against Mr. Dylan’s music, except that it was written by a scruffy young man who has remained a scruffy young man all his life. At least, that is an achievement. As the years accumulate around him, Mr. Dylan has remained a scruffy young man, right down to his recent achievement, bewildering the Nobel Committee, whose members still do not know what Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’opinion publique a célébré en grande pompe l’attribution surprise du prix Nobel au barde Bob Dylan, saluant ainsi le fait que la littérature ne se limite pas aux romans, essais ou poèmes au sens classique des termes.

Il y a de quoi se réjouir que tous les genres littéraires soient pris en compte, dans l’évaluation à haute valeur symbolique des jurés de la récompense suédoise. Et pourquoi pas, une fois également, me disais-je à cette occasion, le Nobel à une mystique? On peut toujours rêver. J’y pensais, dimanche 16 octobre 2016, quand le pape François déclarait sept nouveaux saints sur la Place Saint-Pierre à Rome, en une splendide liturgie fréquentée par des centaines de milliers de fidèles, au cœur de l’année du Jubilé de la miséricorde.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the summer of 1964, Bob Dylan released his fourth album, “Another Side of Bob Dylan,” which includes the track “It Ain’t Me Babe.” “Go ’way from my window/Leave at your own chosen speed,” it begins. “I’m not the one you want, babe/I’m not the one you need.”

That fall, the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre played a variation on the same tune in a public statement explaining why, despite having been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, he would not accept it. “The writer,” he insisted, must “refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution, even if this occurs under the most honorable circumstances.” Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize for literature is something even he could not have prophesied with his pen when we were young musicians together in Greenwich Village. I was astonished at the news, overjoyed. A sense of validation swept over me. It seems we built a long-lasting platform of sorts, a fortress of folk music, that can still carry the strength of our convictions.

Not everyone agrees with my delight about Dylan’s prize, and he has barely acknowledged it. But I am buoyed that his messages might inspire us again to act on those convictions.

The night Dylan introduced himself to me at Gerdes Folk City, I was struck by how pale and thin he was, looking as if he just stepped out of the pages of a Charles Dickens novel.…  Seguir leyendo »

Every year I root for Ngugi wa Thiong’o to win the Nobel Prize for literature.

The Kenyan writer has been a favorite to win for years. This year, according to gambling site Ladbrokes, the odds were 4-to-1 in Ngugi’s favor, with Haruki Murakami second at 7-to-1, and Don DeLillo at 12-to-1. Had Murakami or DeLillo won, I would have been disappointed. Ngugi’s novel “Wizard of the Crow” was a 700-page masterpiece that seemed to invent a genre of its own, in between satire and magical realism, yet it had far fewer readers outside of Africa than “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle“ or “Underworld,” though it is a work of equivalent stature.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por lo que él manifiesta y, más aún, por su trayectoria, se diría que Bob Dylan cree que lo genuinamente suyo es componer e interpretar canciones sobre un escenario itinerante. Lo avalan décadas de más de cien conciertos al año por todo el mundo. En cambio, parece que los estudios de grabación le resultan lugares inhóspitos, en los que habría procurado estar el tiempo estrictamente necesario para grabar medio millar de canciones, suyas, la mayor parte, pero también ajenas, repartidas en una cincuentena de álbumes.

Esta faceta creativa e interpretativa, inseparable de una obsesión casi patológica por el conocimiento exhaustivo de la música norteamericana, la popular y la no tan popular, hace que el Premio Nobel de Literatura que acaba de recibir le suponga a Dylan, en cierto sentido, una contrariedad.…  Seguir leyendo »

La gente que apenas lee suele darles una gran importancia a los premios literarios. Y los que ni siquiera leen, aún más. Eso explica la algarabía en torno a un señor, de larga trayectoria, dedicado a la canción y últimamente convertido en sionista militante, después de haber pasado por todo. Me estoy refiriendo, como es obvio, a Bob Dylan, de quien se puede decir que si las letras de sus canciones (sin música) estuvieran a la altura de su equipo de promoción mediática sería un poeta notable. Si alguien se ha tomado la molestia de leer sus versos a palo seco habrá constatado que están un poco por debajo de lo mediocre.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le prix Nobel d’économie a été attribué le 10 octobre à Oliver Hart et à Bengt Holmström, tout particulièrement pour leurs théories contractuelles de l’entreprise. Pourtant, les économistes des organisations demeurent minoritaires dans la communauté, si bien qu’il est loisible de penser que l’attribution de plusieurs prix Nobel à ce sous-champ disciplinaire témoigne de sa reconnaissance.

En sus des lauréats de cette année, il faut ajouter Herbert Simon, Ronald Coase, Oliver Williamson et Jean Tirole (qui a souvent coécrit avec Bengt Holmström) à la liste des Nobel, sans compter ceux qui ont contribué plus sporadiquement au développement de l’économie des organisations (Kenneth Arrow, Douglass North, George Akerlof, Joseph Stiglitz, Eric Maskin, Elinor Ostrom ou encore Eugene Fama).…  Seguir leyendo »

Pour l’homme de la rue, la théorie économique se réduit à l’étude des marchés. Cette vision étroite est sans doute influencée par un de ses principaux messages : lorsqu’il est facile de mesurer la quantité et la qualité des biens échangés, le marché est sans pareil ; le prix est un incitant fort qui pousse acheteurs et vendeurs vers un « bien commun », tout en leur permettant de poursuivre leurs propres intérêts.

Mais la qualité du service rendu ou du bien échangé n’est pourtant pas toujours vérifiable. Ainsi, il vous sera difficile d’évaluer les efforts déployés par un agent immobilier pour faire la publicité de l’appartement que vous mettez en vente.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pourquoi est-ce que, dans le cas des grandes entreprises, la plupart des cadres dirigeants reçoivent une partie de leur rémunération sous forme de « stock-options », anglicisme à la fois galvaudé et si mystérieux ? Cette pratique qui consiste à donner la possibilité et non l’obligation à un dirigeant d’entreprise d’acheter dans le futur une certaine quantité d’actions de l’entreprise à un prix préalablement fixé (prix seuil) a commencé à devenir très populaire aux Etats-Unis dès le début des années 1990.

Si la valeur de l’action excède le prix seuil, le dirigeant peut ainsi exercer son droit à acheter ses actions à un prix inférieur à celui du marché, générant un profit direct.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’attribution du prix Nobel de littérature à Bob Dylan a soulevé ce que Christopher Ricks appelle un «joyeux ouragan». Est-ce possible ? Est-ce acceptable de donner le prix littéraire le plus convoité à un faiseur de chansons ? Et comment… répondent l’écrivaine et historienne Alice Kaplan qui a croisé le futur chanteur quand il était enfant dans le Minnesota, l’avocat et le défenseur amoureux Thomas Karsenty-Ricard, ainsi que Christopher Ricks, critique littéraire reconnu et respecté pour ses travaux sur Tennyson, Keats, T.S. Eliot. Tous trois s’amusent de voir la question posée de l’équivalence entre Dylan, Modiano, Camus, Hemingway ou Steinbeck. Leur réponse est amoureusement positive.…  Seguir leyendo »

¡Ah, la rabia de los vejestorios cuando se anunció el Nobel de Bob Dylan! ¡Qué escándalo hizo la academia; no la sueca, claro, sino la iglesia mundial de la literaturología!

El pánico de la burocracia literaria, atada a sus certezas, inmersa en cálculos mezquinos, en pronósticos errados, en astutos cambios de opinión, fue palpable. ¿Elección política o apolítica? ¿Por qué un estadounidense? ¿Por qué no una mujer? ¿O representante de alguna minoría visible, la que sea? ¿Qué tal este, que lleva veinte años esperando? ¿O aquel, que ya perdió la esperanza?

La verdad, por más que moleste a los carcamales, es que dar el Premio Nobel de Literatura a un autor que sólo escribió un libro no es más extraño que dárselo a Dario Fo o Winston Churchill.…  Seguir leyendo »

No one has been a fiercer critic of the Nobel Prize in Literature than I. It’s not the choices that are made, though some (Elfriede Jelinek, Dario Fo) have been truly bewildering; it’s just the silliness of the idea that a group of Swedish judges, always the same, could ever get their minds round literature coming from scores of different cultures and languages, or that anyone could ever sensibly pronounce on the best writers of our time. The best for whom? Where? Does every work cater to everybody? The Nobel for literature is an accident of history, dependent on the vast endowment that fuels its million-dollar award.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bob Dylan recorded his first LP for Columbia Records 55 years ago next month. John Hammond, the legendary Columbia producer responsible for discovering Bruce Springsteen, Billie Holliday and Aretha Franklin among others, signed the adenoidal wunderkind. Just a few weeks earlier, New York Times pop music critic Robert Shelton had anointed Dylan as the next big thing. It looked like a golden lift off for the 20-year-old college dropout from Hibbing, Minn., although no one would have predicted a Nobel Prize in literature.

But Dylan’s Carnegie Hall debut, on Nov. 4, 1961, attracted only 52 people. Dylan got lost on the subway and arrived 40 minutes late.…  Seguir leyendo »

The hero of Don DeLillo’s 1973 novel, “Great Jones Street,” Bucky Wunderlick, is a wildly famous musician so transparently inspired by Bob Dylan that it is a wonder the author was able to make the figure into his own character. Bucky — part prophet, part fraud — is hounded into seclusion by fans, hustlers, gangsters and the world at large. I had a hunch Mr. DeLillo would win the Nobel Prize for Literature this year; he can’t be surprised Bob Dylan did.

“I’m a poet, I know it, hope I don’t blow it,” Mr. Dylan sang 52 years ago in “I Shall Be Free No.…  Seguir leyendo »

EL público de Bob Dylan se considera «amigo de Bob Dylan» y esta no es una teoría propia ni algo que se me ocurre ahora, según un código críptico pero no del todo secreto, aquellos que siguen y persiguen el carisma del reciente premio Nobel se reconocen como amigos. Seguramente Dylan se fume el premio Nobel. En tanto escribo estas líneas no sabemos si va a presentarse a recibirlo, y en caso de hacerlo ignoramos si va a aceptarlo con sombrero o en toga académica, habiendo descartado prácticamente la guayabera de García Marquez. No faltará quien diga que si lo recibiera Keith Richards se lo fumaría en una gota deslizándose o lo esnifaría junto con otras cenizas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bob Dylan is the songwriter who opened up the doors of possibility to all who followed. He was the mysterious bard with a guitar who sent out a clarion call — first as the acoustic Voice of His Generation, then as the plugged-in rocker who remained a master of the unexpected for five decades — that the words pop singers sang were worthy of being taken seriously.

“Dylan was a revolutionary,” Bruce Springsteen said in his 1988 speech inducting Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “The way that Elvis freed your body, Bob freed your mind.” Early masterpieces such as “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and “Visions Of Johanna” and “Like A Rolling Stone” fueled a debate: Are rock lyrics poetry?…  Seguir leyendo »

The Swedish Academy’s mid-October announcement regarding literature seldom fails to occasion second-guessing, if not outrage. Whenever a foreign writer mostly unknown to English speakers is awarded the Nobel, a certain constituency will suggest that the Swedes are trolling us. Whenever someone who is already a household name across the world gets it, a different faction is crestfallen, because he or she did not need the publicity. This has presumably been going on since Sully Prudhomme took it away in 1901, his honeyed verses to dance forevermore on every child’s lips.

Bob Dylan was awarded the big prize this morning, and my social-media timeline has been alive with indignation ever since.…  Seguir leyendo »