Thursday, 11 October 2012

Chinese author, Mo Yan is 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature


Mo Yan has been declared winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature by the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on Thursday.
Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the academy made the announcement. Englund noted Yan as using “hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary." The award ceremony will be held on Dec. 10.
Last year, Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer won the prize.
Established by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist who invented dynamite, the Nobel Prizes are regarded as the most prestigious in in the world.
Mo Yan was born in 1955 of farmers parents and grew up in Gaomi in Shandong province, eastern China.
Mo Yan
His book, Red Sorghum, 1993 (Hong Gaoliang Jiazu, 1987) won him the prestigious prize. The Academy stated: "In his writing, Mo Yan draws on his youthful experiences and on settings in the province of his birth. This is apparent in his novel Hong gaoliang jiazu (1987, in English Red Sorghum 1993)."
The winner will win a medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 8 million Swedish Kronor (about 1 million U.S. dollars).
 Mo Yan has many short stories and essays on various topics to his credits. Many of Yan’s works have been translated into English, French and other languages.
Red Sorghum consists of five stories that unfold and interweave in Gaomi in several turbulent decades in the 20th century, with depictions of bandit culture, the Japanese occupation and the harsh conditions endured by poor farm workers, according to the biography. Red Sorghum was successfully filmed in 1987, directed by famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou.
Part of Yan’s bio says as a 12-year-old, during the Cultural Revolution, he left school to work, first in agriculture, later in a factory. In 1976 he joined the People's Liberation Army and during this time began to study literature and write. His first short story was published in a literary journal in 1981.
The academy added: “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 Garcia Marquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition.”
  Since 1901, the Nobel Prize is awarded to those described as "done most for the benefit of humanity." 

When the founder died in 1896, he had amassed an immense fortune, and asked in his will for a foundation to be created to award prizes to people whose careers "had done most for the benefit of humanity", irrespective of nationality, in such disciplines as chemistry, physics, medicine, literature and peace. The first prizes were awarded in 1901.
The laureates share 10 million Swedish krona (around 1,1 million Euros) to continue with their work. 

Candidates are chosen by the Swedish Academies for each discipline (or Norwegian in the case of the Nobel Peace Prize), as well as by 700 personalities or institutions which have authority in their field. ThEe shortlisting begins in February, and thinned to  five names in June. A committee of five academy members deliberates before announcing the winners in October. 

Winners are not likely announced posthumously (with the notable exception of Dag Hammarskjöld, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1961), or to more than three people at once, which is sometimes a problem in the scientific disciplines. It cannot be awarded to the same person more than once. On the other hand, a laureate can win it in two different disciplines. Finally, it can be co-awarded to a person and an institution.

The Nobel Prize is not without controversy. Some past winners have been prevented by political forces going to the ceremony. Such examples are Sakharov, Pasternak, three German scientists under Hitler's regime. Also, in 2010, Chinese government did not recognise Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the dissident Liu Xiaobo. 
   
List of Past Nobel Winners in Literature:

1901
Rene F. A. Sully Prudhomme
France
1902
Theodore Mommsen
Germany
1903
Bjornsterne Bjornson
Norway
1904
Frederic Mistral
Jose Echegaray
France
Spain
1905
Henryk Sienkiewicz
Poland
1906
Giosue Carducci
Italy
1907
Rudyard Kipling
Great Britain
1908
Rudolf C. Eucken
Germany
1909
Selma Lagerlöf
Sweden
1910
Paul J. L. Heyse
Germany
1911
Maurice Maeterlinck
Belgium
1912
Gerhart Hauptmann
Germany
1913
Rabindranath Tagore
India
1914


1915
Romain Rolland
France
1916
Verner von Heidenstam
Sweden
1917
Karl A. Gjellerup
Henrik Pontoppidan
Denmark
Denmark
1918


1919
Carl F. G. Spitteler
Switzerland
1920
Knut Hamsun
Norway
1921
Anatole France
France
1922
Jacinto Benavente
Spain
1923
William Butler Yeats
Ireland
1924
Wladyslaw S. Reymont
Poland
1925
George Bernard Shaw
Ireland - Great Britain
1926
Grazia Deledda
Italy
1927
Henri Bergson
France
1928
Sigrid Undset
Norway
1929
Thomas Mann
Germany
1930
Sinclair Lewis
United States
1931
Erik A. Karlfeldt
Sweden
1932
John Galsworthy
Great Britain
1933
Ivan A. Bunin
Soviet Union
1934
Luigi Pirandello
Italy
1935


1936
Eugene O'Neill
United States
1937
Roger Martin du Gard
France
1938
Parl S. Buck
United States
1939
Frans E. Sillanpää
Finland
1940


1941


1942


1943


1944
Johannes V. Jensen
Denmark
1945
Gabriela Mistral
Chile
1946
Hermann Hesse
Germany - Switzerland
1947
André Gide
France
1948
T. S. Eliot
Great Britain
1949
William Faulkner
United States
1950
Bertrand Russell
Great Britain
1951
Pär F. Lagerkvist
Sweden
1952
Francois Mauriac
France
1953
Sir Winston Churchill
Great Britain
1954
Ernest Hemingway
United States
1955
Halldor K. Laxness
Iceland
1956
Juan Ramón Jiménez
Spain
1957
Albert Camus
France
1958
Boris L. Pasternak (declined)
Soviet Union
1959
Salvatore Quasimodo
Italy
1960
Saint-John Perse
France
1961
Ivo Andric
Yugoslavia
1962
John Steinbeck
United States
1963
Giorgos Seferis
Greece
1964
Jean Paul Sartre (declined)
France
1965
Mikhail Sholokhov
Soviet Union
1966
Samuel Joseph Agnon
Nelly Sachs
Israel
Sweden
1967
Miguel Angel Asturias
Guatemala
1968
Yasunari Kawabata
Japan
1969
Samuel Beckett
Ireland
1970
Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
Soviet Union
1971
Pablo Neruda
Chile
1972
Heinrich Böll
Germany
1973
Patrick White
Australia
1974
Eyvind Johnson
Harry Edmund Martinson
Sweden
Sweden
1975
Eugenio Montale
Italy
1976
Saul Bellow
United States
1977
Vicente Aleixandre
Spain
1978
Isaac Bashevis Singer
United States
1979
Odysseus Elytis
Greek
1980
Czeslaw Milosz
Poland - United States
1981
Elias Canetti
Bulgaria - Great Britain
1982
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Columbia - Mexico
1983
William Golding
Great Britain
1984
Jaroslav Siefert
Czechoslovakia
1985
Claude Simon
France
1986
Wole Soyinka
Nigeria
1987
Joseph Brodsky
Soviet Union - United States
1988
Naguib Mahfouz
Egypt
1989
Camilo José Cela
Spain
1990
Octavio Paz
Mexico
1991
Nadine Gordimer
South Africa
1992
Derek Walcott
West Indies
1993
Toni Morrison
United States
1994
Kenzaburo Oe
Japan
1995
Seamus Heaney
Ireland
1996
Wislawa Szymborska
Poland
1997
Dario Fo
Italy
1998
José Saramago
Portugal
1999
Günter Grass
Germany
2000
Gao Xingjian
France
2001
Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul
United Kingdom
2002
Imre Kertész
Hungary
2003
Imre Kertész
South Africa
2004
Elfriede Jelinek
Austria
2005
Harold Pinter
United Kingdom
2006
Orhan Pamuk
Turkey
2007
Doris Lessing
United Kingdom
2008
Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio
France
2009
Herta Müller
Germany
2010
Mario Vargas Llosa
Peru
2011
Tomas Tranströmer
Sweden
  2012        Mo Yan                                                        China

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