Tag: nobel prize

john steinbeck

Seven Powerful Quotes from Nobel Prize-Winner John Steinbeck

On October 25th, 1962, fifty-six years ago, John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize of Literature. His vivid depiction of the rural American landscape as a projection of the human psyche is both haunting and poignant, supporting his enduring legacy as a literary great. Known for his portrayal of unfailing optimism in the midst of human suffering, it seems clear that his words will inspire readers and dreamers for generations to come. Here are seven powerful quotes to pay tribute to his memory and continue his legacy.


Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962)


Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

Image via amazon.com


1. “A journey is like a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” 


2. “I am happy to report that in the war between romance and reality, reality is not the stronger.”


East of Eden (1952)


'East of Eden' by John Steinbeck

Image via penguin.co.nz


3. “All great and precious things are lonely.” 


4. “And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.”


The Winter of Our Discontent (1961)


'The Winter of Our Discontent' by John Steinbeck

Image via amazon.com


5. “When two people meet, each one is changed by the other so you’ve got two new people.” 


Grapes of Wrath (1939)


'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck

Image via penguin.com.au


6. “Man, unlike anything organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.” 


The Pearl (1947)


'The Pearl' by John Steinbeck

Image via penguin.co.au


7. For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has.”




Featured Image Via blog.worldofbooks.com


Nobel Prize Winning Author Sir V.S. Naipaul Has Died at 85

Sir V.S. Naipaul, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, died on August 11th, in his apartment at London, at age 85. Naipaul was known for his literary exploration of identity. His works focused on the trauma rendered by the colonial and post-colonial ages. He had gained huge success with works such as A House for Mr Biswas (1961), The Mystic Masseur (1957), A Bend in the River (1979), and In A Free State (1971), the last of which earned the Man Booker Prize, the highest glory in English literature. 




Images via Amazon



Born in a family with Indian roots in Trinidad, Naipaul had a dream of becoming a writer when he was ten. At the age of eighteen, earning a scholarship, he studied English literature at University of College, Oxford; after that, he’d moved to London till his end of life.



Naipaul’s writing career was not always smooth sailing. According to an interview in 1994, he was trapped in depression and had “the sense of being absolutely lost” while writing his The Suffrage of Elvira, a comic novel. In the same interview, Naipaul stated that “one always writes comedy at the moment of deepest hysteria.”



In 1957, Naipaul’s first novel The Mystic Masseur was published. The book represents the culture of World War II in the British colonized Trinidad. In 1961, his A House for Mr. Biswas, a novel dealing with racial issues, came to the public and made him big. In 1990, Naipaul was bestowed a Knighthood by the Queen. 


When Naipaul was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001, the Sweden Academy praised him as “a literary circumnavigator, only ever really at home in himself, in his inimitable voice.”


This inimitable voice of Naipaul changed the world. Though the history of colonization seems far away from us, the legacy of it, both good and bad, still lives with us. For those historically unheard, defeaters or victimizers, a contemporary writer who is willing to represent the buried (intended or naturally) fragmentations of history becomes a channel of reidentification.


Let’s commemorate Sir V.S. Naipaul whose death is a great loss to the literary world.



Featured Image via Loop


The Nobel Prize For Literature Might Be Postponed for First Time Since WW2

Each year, the Swedish Academy decides who is nominated for each of the various Nobel Prizes. The members of the Academy are elected for life and can’t technically resign, but they can stop participating in the academy’s activities. And that exactly what Sara Danius did. 



via The New York Times


Sara Danius, the first female permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, recently stepped down from her position. She did so during a wake of sexual harassment allegations involving someone who technically isn’t involved in the Academy, but is still important. We’ll get to that later. 


Since she stepped down, six of the eighteen other members of the Academy have also stepped down. Since then, the remaining 11 members have begun discussing cancelling the prizes all together.  


With the announcement deadline coming up in October, the Academy is expecting a decision to be made by Thursday. If cancelled, this would be the first time since World War Two that the Academy has postponed awarding the Prize. 


Okay now back to the scandal. The Swedish Academy has been criticized for its handling of a probe into alleged allegations of sexual misconduct of Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of Katarina Frostenson, a now former member of the Academy. The sexual assault and harassment allegations were brought to light by eighteen different women, with several of the reported incidents happening in properties belonging to the Academy


The vote to remove Fronstenson from the committee sparked the resignation of three members, Klas Ostergren, Kjell Espmark, and Peter Englund on April 6th of this year. 


Because there are so few members left in the committee and they are short one member to replace seats, King Carl XVI Gustaf stepped in to help the Academy. While the Nobel Prizes only require eight members to approve, the upset may cause the prize to be postponed


Featured image via Sputnik International.

Seamus Heaney

10 Quotes That Remind Us of the Wisdom of Seamus Heaney

A 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, a poet, a playwright, a translator, and recipient of countless other awards. This is only the surface of what Seamus Heaney had accomplished in his seventy-four years of life. The Derry native has written over twenty volumes of poetry and criticisms as well as work on editing anthologies.


He took his personal experiences growing up in Ireland and created touching works that reached across every ocean and sea. Today he would’ve been seventy-nien and we can’t help but feel that he needs a little more recognition. To the man that left his mark in literature, here are 10 quotes to lift your spirits.


1. History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.


2. “Walk on air against your better judgement.”


3. “I can’t think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people’s understanding of what’s going on in the world.”



4. “Behaviour that’s admired
is the path to power among people everywhere.”


5. “Anyone with gumption and a sharp mind will take the measure of two things: what’s said and what’s done.”



6. “If self is a location, so is love:
Bearings taken, markings, cardinal points,
Options, obstinacies, dug heels, and distance,
Here and there and now and then, a stance.”


7. “Suspect too much sweet-talk
but never close your mind.
It was a fortunate wind
that blew me here. I leave
half-ready to believe
that a crippled trust might walk
and the half-true rhyme is love.”



8. “The main thing is to write
for the joy of it. Cultivate a work-lust
that imagines its haven like your hands at night
dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast.
You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous.
Take off from here.”


9. “The aim of poetry and the poet is finally to be of service, to ply the effort of the individual into the larger work of the community as a whole.”



10. “There is risk and truth to yourselves and the world before you.”



Feature Image Via The Daily Beast 

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan Also Wrote Angsty Teenage Poetry, Which You Can Now Read

Are you a Bob Dylan fan? Does ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ strike a chord in your heart? Is ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ the greatest moving on song you know? If you answered ‘yes’ to these then you should know about the following news. Especially those folks in Minnesota.


Bob Dylan

Young Bob | Image Via Pinterest

The musician, songwriter, and Nobel Prize in Literature winner has an old collection of essential writings… more specifically, his handwritten poetry from high school on display in Minnesota. Does it get any cooler? There are pages of scribbled poetry that go back to about 1956 along with the photo above, recordings, and more all on view for visitors to Minnesota’s Historical Society at the Gale Family Library from February 13th. 



Bob Dylan

 Image Via Twin Cities

Twin Cities Pioneer Press describes the work that is now owned by Minnesota Historical Society for the time being. “The writing in these pages is fairly immature, but you can already see his ballad style that will develop later,” Minnesota Historical Society librarian Patrick Coleman explains. “It portends his future as a Nobel laureate.”



Bob Dylan

 Image Via Star Tribune

Some have seen the poetic pages before, but also included in the exhibit are original song recordings and additional song lyrics. I wish these pages could go global so everyone had the chance to see them, they’re incredible.


From inspiring a whole generation of musicians, to winning Grammys, a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and more… these poems symbolize the things you could do and the places you could go. Let them inspire you!


Feature Image Via Evening Standard