Group B in the World Cup of Soccer includes Spain, Netherlands, Chile, and Australia. Here are the books that will be representing these nations in the World Cup of Literature:
Spain- Miguel de Cervantes, “Don Quixote”
Netherlands- Margriet de Moor, “The Storm”
Chile- Pablo Neruda, “World’s End”
Australia- JM Coetzee, “Disgrace”
Now the obvious controversy here is with Australia. Coetzee is a well known South African writer but he now lives in Australia and has Australian citizenship. Australia is pulling out the big guns for this event. In a double-whammy move they are submitting a book that is about South Africa by a former South African. All controversy aside, Coetzee is one of the greatest living writers of any language right now. Read any of his books. They are powerfully good.
The next front runner in this group would be Chile. In the World Cup of Soccer it would seem that Chile may be in a dog fight to reach the round of 16 but in the World Cup of Literature they are a lock to advance with one of the greatest poets of all time, Pablo Neruda. It didn’t matter what book of his they chose, Neruda is king and expect Chile to advance and challenge to reach the Elite Eight.
Netherlands are a scrappy bunch. They could surprise everybody this year with their choice of Magriet de Moor’s harrowing story of two sisters separated by the great Dutch hurricane of 1953. If anyone has read this book please let me know. It’s available at the EPL right now.
Spain are reigning champions but even they may have gotten too cocky by choosing a book that is over 400 years old that nobody has ever finished. If anyone has claimed to have finished this book they are lying. This epic tome by journeyman Cervantes is a true classic and always deserves consideration in any discussion of great literature but this just might be the year that Spain takes a back seat to some younger whippersnappers.
My soccer picks: Spain, Chile
My literature picks: Australia, Chile
Another reminder that there is still room to register for my talk on self-publishing this evening at 7pm in the Riverbend branch. You can learn more about the talk and sign up here.
See you then.