Monday, May 8, 2017

There Are No Prizes

So I'm gearing up to enter some pages for the Italo Calvino Prize this year. I wish I didn't care about awards or prizes because they're intensely arbitrary and a set of certain opinions from certain humans at a given time and place under certain circumstances of which we have no idea the levels of Aristotelian confluences that brought them to their decision that day. But I do care. I hate myself, but I do care. If other people did what I should do and not care then this wouldn't be a problem. My mind keeps going back to the last two sentences in Michael Ondaatje's masterwork Coming Through Slaughter.

"Thirty-one years old. There are no prizes."

Yes, Mr. Ondaatje. I hear you, sensei. But I'm still probably going to make a run for the Calvino. I mean if it was named after just about another other author I'd be able to pass it up right now. But I'm writing Calvino influenced work these days (or had have been the past several months, although that's about to change for a bit). I've also been reading Calvino like a madman. I've been basically trying to take in everything about him and Borges that I can almost as if by osmosis. And I started doing this much much before I learned there was even such a thing as a Calvino Prize. Or that it was given out by the University of Louisville, where I basically went to grad school. Or that someone I actually know (Ryan Ridge) won it last year. Now that's a series of confluences for you. So basically I can't resist. Wish me luck or don't. Either way I'm going to be dropping a $25 entry fee for nothing, as I will not win. I know this because Tyler knows this.



4 comments:

  1. Good luck! I am rooting for you to take the prize -- you have the talent, you have the stories, and you have the guts to take that chance!

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    1. Hey thanks for that. I really appreciate it, for realz. I don't like this sort of ambition in me and I abhor reading fees so the whole thing is new to me :)

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  2. I've entered in the past. A reader at the time (not the Calvino Prize people) told me that in my writing I was channeling Calvino. Alas, not enough to win. These days I am not channeling him and not entering. Best of luck to you!

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    1. That's cool. The stories I've compiled to enter aren't really like Calvino's stories other than that they're fabulist in nature, so I might be okay there. Most of the stories have been published in journals over the past half year or so if you'd like to have a look at them. I post them at my author's website: slcompton.wordpress.com. And who knows, I may not have the $25 to spare when it comes time to enter. Fingers crossed!

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