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The annual ritual of the Nobel Prize in Literature has now arrived, accompanied as always by deep laments about those who have once more been passed over amid grudging admissions that this year’s winner might indeed have some talent. With Mario Vargas Llosa having been handed the honor this year, another giant of the Latin American Boom has been properly handed the laurel, even if we’re left to wonder why say Thomas Pynchon didn’t make the cut.
In any case, an equally important part of the literary liturgy following the announcement of the award is the recitation of famous writers who were passed over in their lifetimes. This year, that inveterate compiler of pointless lists, the Huffington Post, has created a top-ten list of Nobel losers on which Joyce appears. Readers are encouraged to vote on which writer was most unjustly treated by sages of Stockholm. At the moment, our Sunny Jim is a surprising third–behind Chekov and Tolstoy.