Passage of the Day (Which Makes One Want to Bang One's Head on the Table)

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on October 13, 2010

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People who never voiced any concerns about the politics of other Nobel Prize winners – like Wisława Szymborska, who wrote poetic celebrations of Lenin and Stalin; Günter Grass, who praised Cuba’s dictatorship; Harold Pinter, who supported Slobodan Milošević; José Saramago, who purged anti-Stalinists from the revolutionary newspaper he edited – thought that the Swedish Academy had finally crossed a line. Mario Vargas Llosa’s politics apparently should have disqualified him from any prize considerations. He is after all a classical liberal in the tradition of John Locke and Adam Smith.

Johan Norberg. Quite frankly, one of the nicest things about Mario Vargas Llosa’s award is that his win infuriated all of the right people. Unfortunately, the fact that they are infuriated about a lover of liberty and freedom winning the Nobel Prize in Literature drives people like me to distraction.

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