The Swedes

I’m still not quite sure what exactly Gore Vidal was driving at when he wrote in 1993 that Burgess ‘had the good fortune not to be hit…by the Swedes’. Did he mean that the Nobel would have resulted in a falling-off in the quality of Burgess’s work? Or was he simply pointing out that the Nobel, like many literary prizes (the Booker, for instance), so often indicates mediocrity in the recipient?

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