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Per Nobel’s will “one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction…it is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be Scandinavian or not."

What did he mean by “work” or “ideal” ?

“Does "work" mean something equivalent to the German Gesamtwerk, or the French oeuvre - life's work? Or the Latin magnum opus - master-work? And need the "work" in question be un-equivocally literary? It manifestly was not in the case of Winston Churchill in 1953 (writer of one potboiling Ruritanian romance), or Bertrand Russell in 1950 (author of one inferior volume of detective stories). It was their respective efforts against fascism, and in the post-war peace movement, that earned them the world's premier literary award. There has been also been keen debate in the English-speaking world as to how the key adjective should be glossed; in the original Swedish the word "idealisk" translates as either "idealistic" or "ideal".”

Per: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/oct/13/featuresreviews.guardianreview31

An old gripe on nationalities - I have always found it baffling that no-one from Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands et al , no one born in the Middle East (excl. Lessing) no-one from the sub-continent since 1913 etc. etc. has won the award.

Edit: I adore the Indian sense of humour:

Edited by Didi, Sep 4 2014, 11:13 PM.
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Nobel Prize 2014 · General discussion