When it comes to literature, Doris Lessing has her hand in every dish. She claims the titles of novelist, poet, playwright, short story writer, and biographer – if anyone proves that it’s possible to do it all, and well, it’s Lessing. She won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, along with the David Cohen prize in 2001.
This spring, the Swedish Academy announced that there would be no Nobel Prize in Literature awarded this year, stating instead that two laureates will be awarded in 2019. At the heart of this issue is photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of committee member Katherine Frostenson, who has been accused of eighteen counts of sexual harassment and assault. He is also suspected of leaking lists of possible winners for betting purposes. While this is not the first time this has happened (in 1949, the Academy famously announced that no candidates met the criteria, delaying the decision to the following year when they selected William Faulkner as the 1949 winner), this is the first time the decision has been made as a direct result of scandals surrounding the committee.
T.S. Eliot authored some of the most recognizable poems of the 20th century. He was a major player in the modernist movement, and his "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is considered one of the best of the genre. Eliot won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, and the selection committee praised him for "his outstanding, [pioneering] contribution to present-day poetry." Many other writers owe a debt of gratitude to T.S. Eliot for paving the way, and as Britannica states, "From the 1920s onward, Eliot’s influence as a poet and as a critic—in both Great Britain and the United States—was immense, not least among those establishing the study of English literature as an autonomous academic discipline."
For many, William Faulkner is synonymous with American literature, specifically Southern Literature. Hailing from Mississippi, Faulkner used his home state and his experiences growing up in the rural south in much of his most famous work. He became well-known following his 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature win. The committee praised Faulkner "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel." Faulkner’s use of emotion and stream-of-conscious writing style set him apart from many of his contemporaries. His works and his interviews are a playground for word enthusiasts, offering numerous memorable sentences. In honor of Faulkner’s birthday, here are ten of his best quotes.
It's the day after Labor Day, and that means for many, it's time to go back to school. Books and school go hand-in-hand. Whether they were on summer reading lists, sprinkled throughout the general curriculum, or assigned for a book report, the following books represent some of the most common novels we all read in school. Check out some of these classic novels and relive your school days.
V.S. Naipaul once said that no woman writer could be his equal. He did not win any points with feminists and those striving for gender equality, but it's hard to argue with his literary output. Again, we have to ask ourselves, how do we separate an author's ideology from the work he or she produces? Do we? Can we? Should we? Born August 17, 1932, Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul died on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at the age of 85. The author is considered one of the modern legends of literature.
In 1978, a four part miniseries called Holocaust aired on NBC. It featured Meryl Streep as a cast member, and it portrayed all of the horrors that we have since come to expect from depictions of the Holocaust (to enumerate them would, perhaps, defeat the purpose). Though it was one of the earliest examples of this particular historical atrocity being adapted for prime time, in the ensuing decades it undoubtedly blurred together in the minds of its viewers with similar media like Schindler’s List (1993) and Sophie’s Choice (1982). Though the miniseries, which was ostensibly fictionalized from true events, would garner critical acclaim, Elie Wiesel, who remained one of the world’s foremost chroniclers of the Shoah until his death two years ago, hated it.
"A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life." So spoke Saul Bellow, one of the greatest American authors of the twentieth century. Rare book collectors have consistently been interested in Bellow's works, and that interest will only grow as his books get more scarce over time.
Especially on this blog, Love in the Time of Cholera (1985) author Gabriel García Márquez needs little introduction. William Kennedy declared that Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) was, "the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race," and the Nobel Prize committee seemed to more or less agree, bestowing the honor on a Colombian writer for the first time ever largely in recognition of One Hundred Years of Solitude in particular. Carlos Fuentes called him, "the most popular and perhaps the best writer in Spanish since Cervantes." Here are some interesting facts about him.