The Nobel Prize for Literature will be announced on Thursday, and though they gave the standard speculators barely a day to make their guesses, the professional army of second-guessers has risen nobly to the challenge. This year’s Nobel goes to…Janet FrameAdonisCoetzee, Vargas Llosa, Roth and other usual suspects…and why on earth are we wasting our time with feverish speculation given that there’s less than 24 hours to go? The Babu has absolutely no idea.

“A writer and his or her critical nemesis are a little like star-crossed lovers; in the end, they’re made not for each other but against each other.” They’re calling it The Worst Review in the World, and it came out a good century ago. Meanwhile, here’s a prime example (third item on the page) of how not to respond to your critics, starting with Golden Rule No 1: never refer to yourself in the third person.

An update on Edward Said: Christopher Hitchens comes not to bury Said but to praise him, sort of, and does a bit of both; Mother Jones on Said’s legacy; and a debate.

* Statutory Warning: If Our Staffer’s Written The Book, We’re Giving Him A Good Review, Darn It. Someone explain to me why a books page editor would kill a review on the grounds that it is “negative” and might hurt the sentiments of the staffer who wrote the book, while showing absolutely no regard for the right of the reader to be treated to an honest opinion.

Patrick French declines his OBE on the perfectly valid grounds that he can’t find it in himself to accept an award that endorses the concept of Empire. Good man.

David Davidar on three high points in the world of English language publishing in India.

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