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Open Letter to the Canadian Cultural Elite: Fly Alice to Stockholm

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posted on Oct, 23 2013 @ 04:28 AM
Most people in this forum will know that this year's Nobel Prize winner for literature is Canada's own Alice Munro. She is cited as a modern master of the short story and is the first Canadian citizen to win the Nobel for literature. (Saul Bellow, although born in Canada, won as an American.)

Unfortunately, she has announced that she will not be able to attend the awards ceremony.

“Literature Laureate Alice Munro will not attend the 2013 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony … on 10 December due to health reasons. No decision has yet been made about who will receive the Nobel Prize in Literature on her behalf,” according to a statement posted Friday on the official Nobel Prize website.

“Her health is simply not good enough,” Swedish Academy head Peter Englund said earlier in a blog post, without giving details. “All involved, including Mrs. Munro herself, regret this.”

The 82-year-old, Ontario-born short-story writer revealed in 2009 she had undergone coronary-bypass surgery and had cancer treatment. She announced this year she had decided to retire from writing.

The Swedish Academy could not get hold of Munro before announcing the winner a week ago, but when Englund finally reached her several hours later, she indicated she probably would not be able to go.

“I’m an old woman, and my health is frail,” she told Englund, according to his blog.

Jane Gibson, the wife of Munro’s publisher Douglas Gibson, told the Star her husband was not aware that Munro had made the decision not to attend, “but I know that he is not surprised by that … she’s quite frail now.”

Munro is not the first literature laureate unable attend the prize ceremony in Stockholm due to illness.

Trans Atlantic flight can be an ordeal for anyone younger than 3 and older than 3, but it is particularly so for the very aged who must maintain certain routines in their lives in order to preserve a precarious metabolic balance necessary to function as fully as they can with the means available.

Any stress sufficiently taxing to the system is a serious threat to the elderly.

As I see it, walking to the podium and delivering an address would not stress Ms. Munro. They had to track her down to tell her that she had won the prize. Similarly, attending a couple of social functions shouldn't be a problem, provided chaperones insist on her curfew and are prepared to wrestle her out of the room if she shows signs of champagne induced truculence.

That leaves the flight and this is where Canada's wealthy patrons of the arts, Canada's Florentine plutocrats and dare I say, even Canada's titled literateur, might make a gesture worthy of the country's magnificence and their own munificence.

Let's (you not me, of course) get Alice a private jet to Stockholm, one that is fully equipped to make her body believe that it is sitting in her parlour at home, all the way.

It's just a thought. I would do it myself if I had the dough.

If I were Don Cherry, I would feel obligated. Surely it's part of the "code".
edit on 23-10-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-10-2013 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 23 2013 @ 05:08 AM
reply to post by ipsedixit

better idea - bring the Nobel prize to Ontario - simples

posted on Oct, 23 2013 @ 11:01 AM
It's entirely possible that she would prefer to stay close to home for any number of reasons and of course she should absolutely do as she wishes. I just wanted to throw the idea out there, thinking that it may just be the issue of a long flight under less than comfortable conditions, that is preventing her attendance in Stockholm.

If so, there are people in Canada who could and should remove that impediment.


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