The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Nobel Prize in Literature’

Coziness Porn, and Other News

December 9, 2013 | by


  • Since Alice Munro skipped the trip to Stockholm, there is instead a Nobel video, and we can all watch it!
  • David Ulin on Nelson Mandela, the writer.
  • Here is some unabashed coziness porn: a slideshow of reading nooks. HuffPo ran it on #SanctuarySunday (which exists, it would seem) but on a Monday morning fraught with wintry mix, I daresay we need it even more.
  • And apparently on the same page, the Guardian brings us a list of comfort reads.


    Dramatic Deaths, and Other News

    October 21, 2013 | by


    • Citing health concerns, Alice Munro says she will not travel to Sweden to accept her Nobel in person.
    • “For the first time I felt myself in the presence of a talent greater than my own.” The long, strange friendship of Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin.
    • “People are messes, every one of us.” Editor Giancarlo DiTrapano talks Tyrant. 
    • For its sixtieth anniversary, the Crime Writers’ Association has asked its six hundred writer-members to choose the best crime novel of all time. Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Raymond Chandler fight it out.
    • Speaking of hot competition, the ten most dramatic deaths in fiction.



    With Profound Admiration: Grazia Deledda, Nobel Laureate

    October 10, 2013 | by


    The morning Grazia Deledda won the 1926 Nobel Prize in Literature was like any other. Or rather, she attempted to make that day in Rome indistinguishable from the last. She simply exclaimed Già! (Already!), and fled to her office. She was protective of her daily writing routine, already threatened by sharing a crowded house with her husband, adult sons, and niece. Deledda maintained the same schedule seven days a week: a late breakfast, a couple of hours of reading, lunch followed by la pausa (a nap), and, finally, a few hours of writing in the afternoon. By dinner, she had four handwritten pages.

    But there were expectations of the first Italian women to receive the prize, and she understood what was at stake. It had been a year since Benito Mussolini dropped the charade of constitutional rule in favor of Fascism. Deledda had never been to northern Europe, but Il Duce made it known that, upon her return from Stockholm, he expected her to attend an official state ceremony in her honor. Mussolini, who had imprisoned several of her friends and many countrymen, wished to give her a portrait of himself, signed “with profound admiration.”

    And so the writer allowed throngs of journalists and photographers and notable well-wishers into her home the next day. By all accounts, the diminutive writer was calm and graciouss, or at least tolerant of the fuss, which is more than can be said for Checcha. Her beloved pet crow was visibly irritated by the commotion, and thrashed wildly above the crowd, searching for an empty room. After an open window sufficed, Deledda hurried everyone out, insisting, “If Checcha has had enough, so have I.”  

    She was a fatalist, to be sure, but by the time Deledda received the prize, at fifty-six years old, she understood attention made people vulnerable, and had the potential to devastate. People who dealt in extremes, whether by volition or chance, made it into her stories, and from the very beginning, her stories had a way of getting her in trouble.

    Deledda (1871–1936) grew up in Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean, although she would be a teenager before she rode a horse all the way up to Monte Bardia, a peak from which she could finally glimpse the sea. Her birth coincided with the first anniversary of the unification of Italy, but she was very much of Nuoro, what she called “a bronze-age village.” Her first language was sardo logudorese, the spoken idiom of Sardinia; Italian, the language she would write in, was a foreign one. Read More »


    Away from Her

    October 10, 2013 | by


    “Often, in about three quarters of what I do, I reach a point somewhere, fairly early on, when I think I’m going to abandon this story. I get myself through a day or two of bad depression, grouching around. And I think of something else I can write. It’s sort of like a love affair: you’re getting out of all the disappointment and misery by going out with some new man you don’t really like at all, but you haven’t noticed that yet. Then, I will suddenly come up with something about the story that I abandoned; I will see how to do it.” —Alice Munro, the Art of Fiction No. 137



    The Font of Least Resistance, and Other News

    October 1, 2013 | by


  • Fave: yet another word with a surprisingly venerable history.
  • A bookie’s take on the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • “Fame has a dark side. When Times New Roman ap­pears in a book, doc­u­ment, or ad­ver­tise­ment, it con­notes ap­a­thy. It says, ‘I sub­mit­ted to the font of least re­sis­tance.’”
  • The strange mystery of editor Ronald Lane Latimer.


    Franzen on Kraus: Footnote 48

    September 5, 2013 | by

    Oskar Kokoschka's 1925 portrait of Karl Kraus. Oil on canvas, 65 x 100 cm, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna.

    Oskar Kokoschka’s 1925 portrait of Karl Kraus. Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna.

    This week, to celebrate the launch of our Fall issue, we will preview a few of our favorite footnotes from “Against Heine,” Jonathan Franzen’s translation of the Austrian writer Karl Kraus. Click here to get your subscription now!

    And Heine had a talent for being embraced by young souls and thus associated with young experiences.48 

    (p. 210)

    48 J. D. Salinger might be an example of an American writer whose reputation has similarly benefitted from being read in people’s youth. But consider here, too, the periodic arguments from Bob Dylan fans that Dylan deserves the Nobel Prize in Literature.