Nobel Prize in Literature

Nobel Prize in Literature

1901 – Sully Prudhomme, France, “in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect.”

1902 – Theodor Mommsen, Germany, “the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A History of Rome.”

1903 – Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Norway, “as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit.”

1904 – Frédéric Mistral, France, “in recognition of the fresh originality and true inspiration of his poetic production, which faithfully reflects the natural scenery and native spirit of his people, and, in addition, his significant work as a Provençal philologist,” and
1904 – José Echegaray, Spain, “in recognition of the numerous and brilliant compositions which, in an individual and original manner, have revived the great traditions of the Spanish drama.”

1905 – Henryk Sienkiewicz, Poland, “because of his outstanding merits as an epic writer.”

1906 – Giosuè Carducci, Italy, “not only in consideration of his deep learning and critical research, but above all as a tribute to the creative energy, freshness of style, and lyrical force which characterize his poetic masterpieces.”

1907 – Rudyard Kipling, United Kingdom, “in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author.”

1908 – Rudolf Christoph Eucken, Germany, “in recognition of his earnest search for truth, his penetrating power of thought, his wide range of vision, and the warmth and strength in presentation with which in his numerous works he has vindicated and developed an idealistic philosophy of life.”

1909 – Selma Lagerlöf, Sweden, “in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings.”

1910 – Paul von Heyse, Germany, “as a tribute to the consummate artistry, permeated with idealism, which he has demonstrated during his long productive career as a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist and writer of world-renowned short stories.”

1911 – Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgium, “in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers’ own feelings and stimulate their imaginations.”

1912 – Gerhart Hauptmann, Germany, “primarily in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art.”

1913 – Rabindranath Tagore, India, “because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.”

1914 – Not awarded

1915 – Romain Rolland, France, “as a tribute to the lofty idealism of his literary production and to the sympathy and love of truth with which he has described different types of human beings.”

1916 – Verner von Heidenstam, Sweden, “in recognition of his significance as the leading representative of a new era in our literature.”

1917 – Karl Adolph Gjellerup, Denmark, “for his varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals,” and
1917 – Henrik Pontoppidan, Denmark, “for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark.”

1918 – Not awarded

1919 – Carl Spitteler, Switzerland, “in special appreciation of his epic, Olympian Spring.”

1920 – Knut Hamsun, Norway, “for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil.”

1921 – Anatole France, France, “in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament.”

1922 – Jacinto Benavente, Spain, “for the happy manner in which he has continued the illustrious traditions of the Spanish drama.”

1923 – William Butler Yeats, Ireland, “for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.”

1924 – Władysław Reymont, Poland, “for his great national epic, The Peasants.”

1925 – George Bernard Shaw, Ireland, “for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty.”

1926 – Grazia Deledda, Italy, “for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general.”

1927 – Henri Bergson, France, “in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented.”

1928 – Sigrid Undset, Norway, “principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages.”

1929 – Thomas Mann, Germany, “principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature.”

1930 – Sinclair Lewis, United States, “for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters.”

1931 – Erik Axel Karlfeldt, Sweden, “The poetry of Erik Axel Karlfeldt.”

1932 – John Galsworthy, United Kingdom, “for his distinguished art of narration which takes its highest form in The Forsyte Saga.”

1933 – Ivan Bunin, stateless domicile in France, “for the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing.”

1934 – Luigi Pirandello, Italy, “for his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art.”

1935 – Not awarded

1936 – Eugene O’Neill, United States, “for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy.”

1937 – Roger Martin du Gard, France, “for the artistic power and truth with which he has depicted human conflict as well as some fundamental aspects of contemporary life in his novel cycle Les Thibault.”

1938 – Pearl S. Buck, United States, “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces.”

1939 – Frans Eemil Sillanpää, Finland, “for his deep understanding of his country’s peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature.”

1940 – Not awarded

1941 – Not awarded

1942 – Not awarded

1943 – Not awarded

1944 – Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, Denmark, “for the rare strength and fertility of his poetic imagination with which is combined an intellectual curiosity of wide scope and a bold, freshly creative style.”

1945 – Gabriela Mistral, Chile, “for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world.”

1946 – Hermann Hesse, Switzerland, “for his inspired writings which, while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style.”

1947 – André Gide, France, “for his comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human problems and conditions have been presented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight.”

1948 – T. S. Eliot, United States / United Kingdom, “for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.”

1949 – William Faulkner, United States, “for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.”

1950 – Bertrand Russell, United Kingdom, “in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought.”

1951 – Pär Lagerkvist, Sweden, “for the artistic vigour and true independence of mind with which he endeavours in his poetry to find answers to the eternal questions confronting mankind.”

1952 – François Mauriac, France, “for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life.”

1953 – Winston Churchill, United Kingdom, “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.”

1954 – Ernest Hemingway, United States, “for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style.”

1955 – Halldór Laxness, Iceland, “for his vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland.”

1956 – Juan Ramón Jiménez, Spain, “for his lyrical poetry, which in Spanish language constitutes an example of high spirit and artistical purity.”

1957 – Albert Camus, France, “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times.”

1958 – Boris Pasternak, Soviet Union, “for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition.”

1959 – Salvatore Quasimodo, Italy, “for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times.”

1960 – Saint-John Perse, France, “for the soaring flight and the evocative imagery of his poetry which in a visionary fashion reflects the conditions of our time.”

1961 – Ivo Andrić, Yugoslavia, “for the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from the history of his country.”

1962 – John Steinbeck, United States, “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.”

1963 – Giorgos Seferis, Greece, “for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture.”

1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre, France, “for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age.”

1965 – Mikhail Sholokhov, Soviet Union, “for the artistic power and integrity with which, in his epic of the Don, he has given expression to a historic phase in the life of the Russian people.”

1966 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Israel, “for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people,” and
1966 – Nelly Sachs, Germany, “for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel’s destiny with touching strength.”

1967 – Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemala, “for his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America.”

1968 – Kawabata Yasunari, Japan, “for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind.”

1969 – Samuel Beckett, Ireland, “for his writing, which – in new forms for the novel and drama – in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation.”

1970 – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Soviet Union, “for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature.”

1971 – Pablo Neruda, Chile, “for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent’s destiny and dreams.”

1972 – Heinrich Böll, West Germany, “for his writing which through its combination of a broad perspective on his time and a sensitive skill in characterization has contributed to a renewal of German literature.”

1973 – Patrick White, Australia, “for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature.”

1974 – Eyvind Johnson, Sweden, “for a narrative art, farseeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom,” and
1974 – Harry Martinson, Sweden, “for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos.”

1975 – Eugenio Montale, Italy, “for his distinctive poetry which, with great artistic sensitivity, has interpreted human values under the sign of an outlook on life with no illusions.”

1976 – Saul Bellow, United States, “for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work.”

1977 – Vicente Aleixandre, Spain, “for a creative poetic writing which illuminates man’s condition in the cosmos and in present-day society, at the same time representing the great renewal of the traditions of Spanish poetry between the wars.”

1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer, United States, “for his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life.”

1979 – Odysseas Elytis. Greece, “for his poetry, which, against the background of Greek tradition, depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clear-sightedness modern man’s struggle for freedom and creativeness.”

1980 – Czesław Miłosz, Poland, “who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man’s exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts.”

1981 – Elias Canetti, Bulgaria / United Kingdom, “for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power.”

1982 – Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia, “for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts.”

1983 – William Golding, United Kingdom, “for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today.”

1984 – Jaroslav Seifert, Czechoslovakia, “for his poetry which endowed with freshness, and rich inventiveness provides a liberating image of the indomitable spirit and versatility of man.”

1985 – Claude Simon, France, “who in his novel combines the poet’s and the painter’s creativeness with a deepened awareness of time in the depiction of the human condition.”

1986 – Wole Soyinka, Nigeria, “who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence.”

1987 – Joseph Brodsky, United States, “for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity.”

1988 – Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, “who, through works rich in nuance – now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous – has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind.”

1989 – Camilo José Cela. Spain, “for a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man’s vulnerability.”

1990 – Octavio Paz, Mexico, “for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity.”

1991 – Nadine Gordimer, South Africa, “who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity.”

1992 – Derek Walcott, Saint Lucia, “for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment.”

1993 – Toni Morrison, United States, “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”

1994 – Ōe Kenzaburō, Japan, “who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today.”

1995 – Seamus Heaney, Ireland, “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.”

1996 – Wisława Szymborska, Poland, “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.”

1997 – Dario Fo, Italy, “who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.”

1998 – José Saramago, Portugal, “who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality.”

1999 – Günter Grass, Germany, “whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history.”

2000 – Gao Xingjian, France, “for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama.”

2001 – V. S. Naipaul, United Kingdom, “for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.”

2002 – Imre Kertész, Hungary, “for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history.”

2003 – J. M. Coetzee, South Africa, “who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider.”

2004 – Elfriede Jelinek, Austria, “for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power.”

2005 – Harold Pinter, United Kingdom, “who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms.”

2006 – Orhan Pamuk, Turkey, “who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures.”

2007 – Doris Lessing, United Kingdom, “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny.”

2008 – J. M. G. Le Clézio, France, “author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization.”

2009 – Herta Müller, Germany, “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.”

2010 – Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru, “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.”

2011 – Tomas Tranströmer, Sweden, “because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality.”

2012 – Mo Yan, China, “who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary.”

2013 – Alice Munro, Canada, “master of the contemporary short story.”

2014 – Patrick Modiano, France, “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”

2015 – Svetlana Alexievich, Belorussia, “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

2016 – Bob Dylan, United States, “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

2017 – Kazuo Ishiguro, England, “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”

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