What is the Nobel Prize in Literature awarded for?
When is the Nobel Prize in Literature usually announced?
Who decides who will receive the Nobel Prize in Literature?
How many times has the Nobel Prize in Literature been awarded?
Who was the youngest laureate to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature?
Who was the oldest laureate to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature?
How many times has the Nobel Prize in Literature been shared between two individuals?
Which notable literary figures were overlooked for the Nobel Prize in Literature?
Which literary prize has been viewed as an alternative to the Nobel Prize in Literature?
The Nobel Prize in Literature is one of five Nobel Prizes established by Alfred Nobel in 1895. It is awarded annually to an author from any country who has produced the most outstanding work in an idealistic direction. The award is based on an author's body of work as a whole, and the Swedish Academy decides who, if anyone, will receive the prize. The laureate receives a gold medal, a diploma bearing a citation, and a sum of money, which varies depending on the income of the Nobel Foundation that year. The award is usually announced in October, but on some occasions, it has been postponed to the following year. The youngest laureate was Rudyard Kipling, who was 41 years old when he was awarded in 1907, and the oldest was Doris Lessing, who was 88 when she was awarded in 2007. The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 115 times between 1901 and 2022 to 119 individuals: 102 men and 17 women. The prize has been shared between two individuals on four occasions and has not been awarded on seven occasions. The Swedish Academy has attracted significant criticism for its handling of the award, and many authors who have won the prize have fallen into obscurity, while others rejected by the jury remain widely studied and read.Controversies and Criticisms of the Nobel Prize in Literature
- The Nobel Prize in Literature has been criticized for its Eurocentric focus, with the majority of laureates being European and Swedish authors receiving more prizes than all of Asia and Latin America combined.
- The vague wording of Alfred Nobel's criteria for the prize has led to recurrent controversies, with the committee's interpretation varying over the years.
- Many literary figures, such as Leo Tolstoy, Henrik Ibsen, and James Joyce, were overlooked for the prize.
- The Swedish Academy's bias and Eurocentrism have been re-ignited by the 2009 award to Herta Müller, a little-known German author, and the 2014 win of French writer Patrick Modiano.
- Membership in the 18-member academy is for life, but members can refuse to participate, and until 2018, they were not allowed to leave. In 1989, four members resigned in protest after the academy refused to denounce Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for calling for the death of Salman Rushdie.
- In 2018, three members resigned in response to a sexual misconduct investigation involving author Jean-Claude Arnault, who was married to board member Katarina Frostenson. The scandal caused a split within the Academy, and the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature was postponed.
- Other notable international literary prizes, including the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, the Franz Kafka Prize, and the International Booker Prize, recognize writers of all nationalities and have been viewed as alternatives to the Nobel Prize in Literature.
How much do you know about the controversies surrounding the Nobel Prize in Literature? Test your knowledge with our quiz and learn about the criticisms of the prize's Eurocentric focus, vague criteria, and past oversights. Find out about the Swedish Academy's bias, membership controversies, and the rise of alternative literary awards. This quiz is perfect for literature enthusiasts who want to deepen their understanding of the Nobel Prize in Literature and its impact on the global literary landscape.
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