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Articles tagged "Nobel Prize"

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, noted, “if you look far back, two thousand, twenty-five hundred years, you discover Homer and Sappho. They wrote poetic texts which were meant to be performed, and it’s the same way for Bob Dylan. We still read Homer and Sappho, and we enjoy...

Our 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature Office Pool

Between the Olympics and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year’s candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as laureates Svetlana Alexievich, Herta Müller, J. M. G. Le Clézio, Naguib Mahfouz, and, of course, any number of contenders. The Nobels will start rolling out with Physiology/Medicine on October 3 through Economics on...

History, War, and Writing: Notes from the Conrad Festival in Krakow

Photo: Thomasz Wiech / the Conrad Festival The first day of my one-week trip to Krakow, during which I planned to learn more about Polish literature by attending the seventh annual Conrad Festival, spending time at the Krakow Book Fair, touring the city, and meeting with authors, agents, translators, and publishers, began with a long red-eye flight from New York City, which was sleepless enough to make everything that day seem fuzzy and slightly surreal. In the early afternoon, I dropped...

The Last Visit: Tomas Tranströmer in December 2013

In Stockholm's old town, the alleys are so packed with snow that you have to climb down to enter stores. The bridge railings seem to be dwarfed, and the black waters of the Baltic Sea, which spill into the city, shine oily and cold. It's December and all festivities are sequestered behind brightly lit windows. At three o'clock in the afternoon it is already dark. Initially I wanted to walk over to Tomas Tranströmer's house, so that the joy of seeing him after so many...

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature: Down to the Wire

We're down to the wire: the Swedish Academy will announce the Nobel Prize in literature this Thursday at 1:00 pm Stockholm time. This decision breaks with the tradition of holding the literature prize till the week after the others, which could suggest an early consensus (or, more cynically, pressure to coincide with the Frankfurt Book Fair, itself early this year).  Ladbrokes shows usual suspects Haruki Murakami at 5/2, Joyce Carol Oates at 4/1,...

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Mo Yan

The Nobel Prize in literature goes to Chinese writer Mo Yan. From the citation: “Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition.” You can read what we thought of his Big Breasts and Wide Hips here.

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Down to the Wire

We're down to the wire. The Academy has confirmed that the Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced Thursday, and the speculation, oddly muted to date, has picked up a tad. Ladbrokes continues to show Haruki Murakami as frontrunner, now at 2:1, with Péter Nádas surging to 5:2 and William Trevor coming out of the turn at 8:1. Mo Yan and Alice Munro drop to 10:1. Unibet shows Murakami at 4:0 and Mo Yan at 4.5:0. I'll be at Frankfurt, where the puff of smoke from the...

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Our Office Pool

Between the World Cup and the World Series comes high season for world literature: time to place your bets on this year's candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. You can read two of the usual suspects, Adonis and Ko Un, right here, as well as laureates Herta Müller, J. M. G. Le Clézio, Naguib Mahfouz, and, of course, any number of contenders. The Nobels will start rolling out with Physiology/Medicine on October 8 through Economics on the 15th; as always, Literature...

Can Literature Bear Witness?

As part of the PEN World Voices Festival, Herta Müller spent an afternoon at NYU's Deutsches Haus on May 3 to discuss whether it's possible for literature to bear witness. When I arrived at the venue, the main floor was packed, which I expected for a Nobel Prize winner. I did not expect, though, to receive a printed, stapled, ten-page, single-spaced English version of her speech translated by Philip Boehm, who is also the translator of her recently released The Hunger...

Bitte, Ich Spreche Nur Amerikanisch

                                                             For Yakov, Enrica, and Tanya I’d like to bracket these observations between two half-remembered New Yorker cartoons. The...

from “Why Translation Matters”

Why translation matters: the subject is so huge, so complex, and so dear to my heart that I have decided to begin my approach to it by answering the implicit question with another question, using the technique of query-as-response—a traditional, perhaps time-honored method of indicating the almost impenetrable difficulty of a subject, and certainly, as every pedagogue knows, a good way to delay and even confound the questioner until you can think of an acceptable answer that has at...
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