Thursday, October 6, 2016

October 6: Everything and Anything, Post Saint Marty's Day, 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature

The world is full of creatures that for some reason seem stranger to us than others, and libraries are full of books describing them--hagfish, platypuses, lizardlike pangolins four feet long with bright green, lapped scales like umbrella-tree leaves on a bush hut roof, butterflies emerging from anthills, spiderlings wafting through the air clutching tiny silken balloons, horseshoe crabs . . . the creator creates.  Does he stoop, does he speak, does he save, succor, prevail?  Maybe.  But he creates; he creates everything and anything.

Dillard is writing about God, the creator of everything that crawls and flies and swims and oozes under the sun and moon.  God doesn't get tired of creating.  God is creating.  However, Dillard could just as easily be describing herself or Toni Morrison or William Faulkner or Ernest Hemingway.  Writers create worlds, as well.  They creates stories about ghosts and bear hunts.  An old man battling an immense fish in the middle of a unforgiving ocean.

I am now in the doldrums of post Saint Marty's Day.  The celebrations aren't over.  My family is having a Saint Marty's Day party this Sunday, filled with bratwurst and tapioca pudding and gifts.  As Charles Dickens wrote in A Saint Marty's Day Carol, "I will honor Saint Marty's Day in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."

Always around Saint Marty's Day, another event takes place.  Every year, the Swedish Academy in Stockholm announces the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.  I happen to know that, as the Swedes discuss and debate with each other, they eat bowls of tapioca and sing traditional Saint Marty's Day songs.  Now, some of the greatest writers who ever lived have won the Nobel, all under the influence and grace of Saint Marty.

This year, the prize will be announced on October 13.  Reporters will gather in the Grand Hall of the Swedish Academy at the appointed hour.  The gold and white doors will open, and the Permanent Secretary will step into the camera lights.  Then, speaking in Swedish, she will announce the name of a writer.  One lucky writer. 

It may be my year.  Saint Marty.  Poet.  Teacher.  Blogger.  I'm sure that I have made the short list already many times.  The only reason that I have not won already is that the Swedes are highly superstitious academics.  They don't like mixing religion and literature.  That's what cost Tolstoy the prize.  However, I have a feeling that this year, drunk of their feast of Diet Mountain Dew and tapioca, the Permanent Secretary, in a hushed voice (almost a prayer), will say those words that the entire world has been longing to hear:

"The Swedish Academy is pleased to announce that the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to Saint Marty, who in essays and poetry and blog posts characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential part of spiritual reality." 

The Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, and a big Saint Marty fan

1 comment:

  1. When we Swedes were sitting in the meeting the other day, our concern became that if we gave you the award this early in your brilliant career we might throw you into further doldrums about "what's left"...therefore we've decided to hold off until you're in your late 80s. Keep creating my friend, keep creating!