Coffee: Organic Bolivian Blend, Trader Joe’s brand
They canceled the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. It’s the first time since WWII that they’ve done so. Reason being is a good one: mass scandals of bigotry, fraud, and sex abuse by the committee members. Female voices were silenced or worse. I’m glad the prize is canceled. I’m also heartbroken.
I grew up hearing the word ‘Nobel’ as one hears the train coming from a mile away. It was ripe, exciting, and I saw myself boarding imminently. I know that’s a big goal but I’ve always dreamed big. At first, I wanted the Nobel Peace Prize. Some kind of white savior complex, mixed with a bit of mishandled chivalry, but as I’ve grown and grounded I’ve looked at my name in the lights of the Nobel Prize for Literature. No significant expectations of achieving that place but the goal’s kept me pushing. Hearing the news of its 2018 cancellation flips a dirty page of reality.
I worry often that the things I love should have no place in the world; or more darkly, that the things I love contribute to the world’s wrongs. I admire Hemingway and eat up Bukowski and there’s no arguing that both of them participate in a culture that dominates women, even if both do so with honesty and reflection. In my personal life, I’ve sought love and family that’s structured and possessive and I struggle daily with how to evolve that love into something more just.
I don’t blame myself for being cultured but I do take blame for every time I participate in that culture knowingly. I still want to be a writer. I still want prizes, though maybe not the Nobel. It’s tough to see a future without knowing what it’ll give you, but that’s been the lot of oppressed communities forever and it’s about damn time I catch up.
The Pardoner’s Tale, by John Wain
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“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway