Nobel Prize in Literature
The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words of Alfred Nobel, produced "the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency". The "work" in this case generally refers to an author's work as a whole, not to any individual work, though individual works are sometimes cited in the awards. The Swedish Academy decides who, if anyone, will receive the prize in any given year.
The original citation of Nobel's has led to much controversy. In the original Swedish, the word idealisk can be translated as either "idealistic" or "ideal". In earlier years the Nobel Committee stuck closely to the intent of the will, and left out certain world-renowned writers such as Leo Tolstoy and Henrik Ibsen for the Prize, probably because their works were not "idealistic" enough. In later years the wording is interpreted much more liberally, and the Prize is awarded, as is often argued that it should be, for lasting literary merit. However, the award continues to generate some amount of controversy as more famous names in literature are sometimes neglected in favor of less widely received ones, as in Dario Fo in 1997. However, this may be seen as unavoidable in all literary awards based on subjective opinions. Whether or not the committee has been unduly biased towards certain political perspectives is a matter of discussion.
Each year the Swedish Academy sends out requests for nominations of candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Members of the Academy, members of literature academies and societies, professors of literature and language, former Nobel literature laureates, and the presidents of writers' organizations are all allowed to nominate a candidate. However, it is not possible to nominate oneself.
Thousands of requests are sent out each year, and about fifty proposals are returned. These proposals must be received by the Academy by February 1, after which they are examined by the Nobel Committee. By April, the Academy narrows the field to around twenty candidates, and by summer the list is reduced further to some five names. In October that year, members of the Academy vote, and the candidate who receives more than half the number of votes is named the Nobel Laureate in Literature. The process is similar to those of other Nobel Prizes.
The prize money of the Nobel Prize has been fluctuating since its inauguration but as present stands at 10 million Swedish krona. The winner also wins a gold medal and a Nobel diploma.
List of Nobel Laureates in Literature
List of Nobel Prize laureates in Literature from 1901 to the present date.
Most awarded languages
- Nobel Prize Winners in Literature
- The Nobel Prize
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