Some French dude. I'd never heard of him. He seems okay. I've read something by almost all of the Literature Nobel Laureates, and I like most of them very much -- one of the long, long list of reasons why I should get one: my good taste in literature.
Patrick Modiano is his name:
But anyway, we're talking about me here. This is getting ridiculous, I'm aging over here, I need that million bucks or two. The amount of the prize in Swedish kroner fluctuates, and of course the kroner-dollar exchange rate fluctuates too. This year's prizes are 8 million kroner, and right now 8 million kroner will get you about 1,105,600 bucks. AND I'M TIRED OF BEING POOR. And of course, in addition to the cash, a Nobel is great publicity and will increase the sales of all of your books.
All of my books? Are you kidding me? I'm autistic, I'm business-impaired. At the moment I don't even have an agent. Yet another example of the Tom Petty Principle of Ab-So-Lute-Ly Backwards Economics: If I had a really good agent, he could get lots of my books onto the shelves in the bookstores and in Amazon's warehouse and into the Kindle thingies and so forth, and the more books I had in all of those places, the more likely I would be to catch the attention of people such as the one who hand out Nobel prizes. But of course -- the backwards part -- the more books I had in all those places, and the more National Book Awards and MacArthur and Guggenheim grants and Bookers I had won, which also seems to catch the attention of the Nobel people, the more money I would have, and the less badly I would need the Nobel! Don't kid yrslvs, kids, Sartre wasn't taking a vow of poverty when he turned down the Nobel, he really was rich enough that he didn't miss it.
And that's fine, he was a great writer and a great man and he deserved his great successes.
And Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, who are sharing this years' Nobel Peace Prize? I couldn't be happier for them (especially as we weren't in competition for the Lit prize). They're wonderful people doing great, important work. What could be more glorious than freeing children from oppression?
I deserve great successes too, that's all I'm sayin. I'm great at the creative part, the actual writing -- obviously -- but I'm no good at business. I need to team up with a great businessman or -woman, a great agent, who can hook me up with publishers so that all us can ride the Wrong Monkey Gravy Train together and split an immense amount of cash between us.
But I'm so inept at the business part that I need someone to help me get that great agent.
You don't know. You don't know. You haven't seen the times when I've attempted to take the reins of this or that business enterprise, instead of staying on the creative side where I belong. Oh, the horror. You don't know!
So, in conclusion, hurrah for Patrick Modiano, yada yada yada, he probably is a very good writer, most of the Nobel lit winners are very, very good, bla bla bla, and on to business: I need help. Just like Gene Wilder when we first see him in Blazing Saddles,
I need all the fucking help I can get. I mean it. (Gene Wilder's part had been offered to John Wayne. Can you imagine, John Wayne hanging upside down in the jail call, John Wayne saying, "Yeah, but I shoot with THIS hand!" and so forth? Would that have been awesome or what? I know, I've probably mentioned that on this blog before, maybe more than once, but would that have been just about perfect? Hm?) So -- help me! When you're talking about your short list of predictions for the 2015 Nobel, casually toss my name in there alongside Murakami and Pynchon and Marias and whomever. If you happen to be having lunch or a torrid love affair with Andrew Wylie, tell him, "Do you realize that Steven Bollinger doesn't have an agent right now?!" If you rub shoulders with the people who give the Nobels or the MacArthur genius grants or the Bookers, mention my name and how effin brilliant I am. If you are one of the people who award the Nobels or MacArthurs or something, or the CEO of Simon & Schuster -- what exactly are you waiting for? Don't you want to be a part of turning the literary landscape all topsy-turvy and bringing joy and solace to millions?! Do yr effin job, I'm doin mine!