Since its inception, the Nobel Prize for literature has given a very public voice to some of the world's greatest writers, and their responses to the honor--their acceptance speeches--have often been epochal. From the famed call to arms by William Faulkner to the multicultural song of Derek Walcott, from 1903's Bjornstjerne Bjornson to 1999's Gunter Grass, this collection of 28 speeches traces the ideals of the artists and the selection committee itself throughout the 20th century. Included are an introduction to each of the writers chosen, an abridged copy of the speech or lecture and a bibliography of works in English.
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Ottar G. Draugsvold is a member of PEN New England and the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. He previously worked as a health educator in Queensland, Australia, and has written numerous professional and trade articles. He lives in Winchendon, Massachusetts.From Library Journal:
In presenting the selected speeches of 31 Nobel prize-winning authors, Draugsvold (a member of PEN New England and the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics) aims to give insight into their thoughts and imaginations and hence inspire us to read their works. As such, the speeches are supported by an introduction emphasizing what makes the writers relevant to a popular audience, focusing on the philosophical center of each writer's work rather than the craft of writing. While the essays work admirably to engage the reader, they fall short as critical introductions to the authors or as attempts to place them within their cultural and historical milieus. A more academic approach would perhaps be useful in raising the controversial issues (such as T.S. Eliot's anti-Semitism) with which some of the writers are identified. In addition, the editor shows a propensity toward post-World War II writers, whose introductions tend to be more complete. That being said, this anthology should work well within larger public libraries.DKaren E.S. Lempert, Facing History and Ourselves, Brookline, MA
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