Category Archives: Literatură

The Top 10 Most Difficult Books

Back in 2009, The Millions started its „Difficult Books” series–devoted to identifying the hardest and most frustrating books ever written, as well as what made them so hard and frustrating. The two curators, Emily Colette Wilkinson and Garth Risk Hallberg, have selected the most difficult of the most difficult, telling us about the 10 literary Mt. Everests waiting out there for you to climb, should you be so bold. If you can somehow read all 10, you probably ascend to the being immediately above Homo sapiens. How many have you read? What books would you add? Let us know in the comments!

Emily Colette Wilkinson is a critic living in Washington, DC. Her reviews have received commendations from The Society of Professional Journalists and The Virginia Quarterly Review.

Garth Risk Hallberg is the author of A Field Guide to the North American Family and is a contributing editor at The Millions.

Emily’s Picks

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes – Dylan Thomas called Nightwood „one of the three greatest prose books ever written by a woman,” but in order to behold this greatness you must master Barnes’ tortuous, gothic prose style. In his introduction to the novel, T.S Eliot described Nightwood’s prose as “altogether alive” but also “demanding something of a reader that the ordinary novel-reader is not prepared to give.” Nightwood is a novel of ideas, a loose collection of monologues and descriptions. What will keep you going: The cross-dressing Irish-American „Dr. Matthew-Mighty-grain-of-salt-Dante O’Connor,” who, when not wandering Paris, drinking heavily, or dressing in nighties, rouge, and wigs of cascading golden curls, is expounding great rambling sermons that fill most of the book. These are funny, dirty, absurd, despairing, resigned—even hopeful in a Becketty I-can’t-go-on-I’ll-go-on kind of way.

A Tale of A Tub by Jonathan Swift – The first difficulty: The superabundant references to obsolete cultural squabbles (some obscure even in Swift’s eighteenth-century England) and then there’s the narratorial persona: an impoverished, syphilitic madman who cuts pieces out of his manuscript and his fellow citizens remorselessly. His compulsive digressiveness is deliberately baffling, but more baffling still is that this satire, aimed at “the Abuses and Corruptions in Learning and Religion” and written by a conservative, Anglican clergyman, ends finding nothing sacred. If you can bear it (and the 100s of footnotes you’ll need to understand its historical context), it’s the ultimate expression of cultural alienation and despair.

The Phenomenology of the Spirit by G.F. Hegel – Do you enjoy a good intellectual gobsmack every now and again? If so, Hegel’s your man and this book, a classic of German idealism and unquestionably one of the most important works of modern philosophy, is a fine place to start. Hegel’s refutation of Kantian idealism, history of consciousness, and quintessential explanation of the process of the dialectic is hard to understand and harder still to retain (“goes through you like lentils,” as one Stanford professor described it to me), due first and foremost to the breadth of its subject and its terminology. The book’s nearly impenetrable without a good edition and guide or two: The Oxford UP edition is widely considered the best (and don’t skip the notes and foreward) and the Routledge Philosophy Guidebook’s commentary by Robert Stern makes good warm-up reading; also good (and free) are J.M. Bernstein’s lecture notes for his UC Berkeley graduate course on the Phenomenology, available at

To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf – In its intermingling of separate consciousnesses, Virginia Woolf’s fiction is both intellectually and psychically difficult. Not only is it hard to tell who’s who and who’s saying or thinking what, it is also disconcerting—even queasy-making—to be set adrift in other minds, with their private rhythms and associative patterns. It feels, at times, like being occupied by an alien consciousness. Some readers don’t ever find their sea-legs with Woolf. The trick is to surrender yourself (true with other high modernists too), to let the prose wash over you and take you where it will—not to worry too much about understanding a dogmatic way.

Clarissa, Or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson – Richardson’s Clarissa is a heavyweight in more ways than one. The novel’s physical heft is part of its difficulty (she weighs in at just under three pounds in Penguin’s oversized edition), especially as her 1500 pages are light on plot (Samuel Johnson said you’d hang yourself if you read Clarissa for the plot). But what the novel lacks in plot it makes up for in psychological depth. Richardson was the first master of the psychological novel and he hasn’t been bested since. These depths are also dark and psychically wrenching: Clarissa’s rejection and dehumanization by her monstrous family and the sadistic torments she undergoes at the hands of her rescuer turned torturer, the „charming sociopath” Robert Lovelace, offer some of the most emotionally harrowing reading experiences available in English.

Garth’s Picks

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce –Finnegans Wake is long, dense, and linguistically knotty, yet hugely rewarding, if you’re willing to learn how to read it. By this, I don’t mean wallowing in the froth of scholarly exegesis the Wake churned up in its wake. Not the first time out, at least. (I take Joyce’s talk about setting traps for his readers as an expression of hostility born out of years of frustration.) Rather, I mean surrendering to Joyce’s music. Meaning here is more a question of effect than of decoding; in this way, this Difficult Book is paradigmatic of great literature more generally. Try reading 25 pages a day, out loud, in your best bad Irish accent. (Seriously – some of what seems like idiolectic obscurity is just a question of how you pronounce your vowels.) You’ll be maddened, you’ll be moved, and you’ll be done in about four weeks.

Being & Time by Martin Heidegger – Being & Time is probably the hardest book I’ve ever read. To contradict what I said vis-a-vis Joyce, I don’t feel comfortable as a reader of Heidegger letting things wash over me. Literary meaning and philosophical meaning are different beasts, and Being & Time, with its intentionally obtrusive neologisms, isn’t meant to be dreamlike. It aims instead to be, among other things, a new kind of science, or a new foundation on which to build the sciences – an understanding of what it means „to be.” Heiddeger gets a lot of things shockingly right, and yet the book’s abstractness and rigor mean that most of his discoveries remain well-kept secrets. Even reading the first half in a graduate-level seminar, it took me over a year to get through this one. Was persevering worth it? Well, it changed my life. I don’t know how much more a reader can ask for.

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser – The difficulty and the pleasure of reading Spenser’s masterpiece arise from a common source: its semiotic promiscuity. The Faerie Queene is allegory to the power of allegory. Or it is allegory drunk out of its mind on sugary wine, dressed up in layers of costumery, made to run singing through the garden of Eden at four o’ clock in the morning before falling down in a heap at sunrise to make silver love to itself. Or it’s the product of that lovemaking, tenor and vehicle copulating so variously and complexly that each becomes the other. There is much madness here, not least in the sheer hubris of Spenser’s plan. (Like Heidegger, he only finished half of his magnum opus.) The Faerie Queene is also, bizarrely, a work of exquisite poetic control, hundreds upon hundreds of perfectly turned stanzas. I read it in college. It was hard as hell, and I forgot the plot even while I was reading, but many of its images remain burned into my brain ten years later.

The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein – I’ve been working my way through The Making of Americans for many summers now. I keep getting several hundred pages in, switching to something else, and then, as with Heidegger, returning to find I’ve lost the thread. But what Heidegger describes, Stein evokes; to read even a page of The Making of Americans is to be thrown into a unique state of attunement. The fineness of attention its exquisite narrative tedium promotes is like an antidote to the shallows of the internet. Beyond the page, birds sing louder, sunlight grows thicker, car horns bare their souls. „The first stunningly original disaster of Modernism,” someone wrote about this book, and while I’m not sure it was intended as a compliment, it makes me wish there were more disasters like this.

Women & Men by Joseph McElroy – In this space I could put any number of postmodern meganovels – a subgenre I’ve been smitten with for many years now. There’s William Gaddis’ JR, which is easier than people make it out to be, and Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, which is harder. There’s The Recognitions and Mason & Dixon. There’s William H. Gass’ The Tunnel – verbally lucid, but morally arduous. Of the lot, though, I’d like to shine the spotlight again on Joseph McElroy’s Women & Men. It is longer than any of the foregoing, and, in the idiosyncracies of its prose, on par with the hardest. Parts of it, anyway. Its temperament, though, is completely sui generis – warm, humanist, synthetic rather than analytic. As I wrote for the L.A. Times a few years back, it’s like an entirely different version of what comes after Modernism. It’s a weird and wonderful book, and I can’t wait to dive into it again.

By Emily Colette Wilkinson & Garth Risk Hallberg


iBooks Bestsellers: ‘Grey’ Regains the Lead

Image result for grey by el jamesE.L. James’s Grey was once again the top selling title in Apple’s iBooks store, coming in one spot ahead of Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll hit #4 for the week ended August 3, and Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman fell one spot to #5.

Books US Bestseller List – Paid Books

1. Grey by E L James – 9781101946350 – (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)
2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 9780698185395 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
3. Paper Towns by John Green – 9781101010938 – (Penguin Young Readers Group)
4. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll – 9781476789651 – (Simon & Schuster)
5. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee – 9780062409874 – (Harper)
6. Code of Conduct by Brad Thor – 9781476717173 – (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)
7. The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand – 9780316334501 – (Little, Brown and Company)
8. The Martian by Andy Weir – 9780804139038 – (Crown/Archetype)
9. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – 9781476746609 – (Scribner)
10. The English Spy by Daniel Silva – 9780062320155 – (Harper)
11. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 9781466850606 – (St. Martin’s Press)
12. Naked Greed by Stuart Woods – 9781101664247 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
13. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – 9780062368683 – (Harper)
14. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – 9780307459923 – (Crown/Archetype)
15. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica – 9781460330197 – (Harlequin)
16. If I Break, The Complete Series by Portia Moore – No ISBN Available – (Portia Moore Books)
17. Beauty from Surrender by Georgia Cates – 9781628470352 – (Georgia Cates Books, LLC)
18. The Maze Runner by James Dashner – 9780375893773 – (Random House Children’s Books)
19. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – 9781607747314 – (Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony)
20. Truth or Die by Howard Roughan & James Patterson – 9780316408738 – (Little, Brown and Company)

All Nobel Prizes in Literature

Image result for the nobel prize in literatureThe Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded 107 times to 111 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2014. Click on the links to get more information.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature has not been awarded yet. According to tradition, the Swedish Academy will set the date for its announcement later.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

Patrick Modiano

„for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2013

Alice Munro

„master of the contemporary short story”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2012

Mo Yan

„who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011

Tomas Tranströmer

„because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2010

Mario Vargas Llosa

„for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009

Herta Müller

„who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2008

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

„author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2007

Doris Lessing

„that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2006

Orhan Pamuk

„who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2005

Harold Pinter

„who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2004

Elfriede Jelinek

„for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2003

John M. Coetzee

„who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2002

Imre Kertész

„for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2001

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul

„for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2000

Gao Xingjian

„for an æuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1999

Günter Grass

„whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1998

José Saramago

„who with parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony continually enables us once again to apprehend an elusory reality”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1997

Dario Fo

„who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

Wislawa Szymborska

„for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1995

Seamus Heaney

„for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1994

Kenzaburo Oe

„who with poetic force creates an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1993

Toni Morrison

„who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1992

Derek Walcott

„for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1991

Nadine Gordimer

„who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1990

Octavio Paz

„for impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1989

Camilo José Cela

„for a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man’s vulnerability”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1988

Naguib Mahfouz

„who, through works rich in nuance – now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous – has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1987

Joseph Brodsky

„for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1986

Wole Soyinka

„who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1985

Claude Simon

„who in his novel combines the poet’s and the painter’s creativeness with a deepened awareness of time in the depiction of the human condition”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1984

Jaroslav Seifert

„for his poetry which endowed with freshness, sensuality and rich inventiveness provides a liberating image of the indomitable spirit and versatility of man”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1983

William Golding

„for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1982

Gabriel García Márquez

„for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1981

Elias Canetti

„for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1980

Czeslaw Milosz

„who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man’s exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1979

Odysseus Elytis

„for his poetry, which, against the background of Greek tradition, depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clear-sightedness modern man’s struggle for freedom and creativeness”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1978

Isaac Bashevis Singer

„for his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1977

Vicente Aleixandre

„for a creative poetic writing which illuminates man’s condition in the cosmos and in present-day society, at the same time representing the great renewal of the traditions of Spanish poetry between the wars”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1976

Saul Bellow

„for the human understanding and subtle analysis of contemporary culture that are combined in his work”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1975

Eugenio Montale

„for his distinctive poetry which, with great artistic sensitivity, has interpreted human values under the sign of an outlook on life with no illusions”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1974

Eyvind Johnson

„for a narrative art, far-seeing in lands and ages, in the service of freedom”

Harry Martinson

„for writings that catch the dewdrop and reflect the cosmos”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1973

Patrick White

„for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1972

Heinrich Böll

„for his writing which through its combination of a broad perspective on his time and a sensitive skill in characterization has contributed to a renewal of German literature”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1971

Pablo Neruda

„for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent’s destiny and dreams”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1970

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

„for the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1969

Samuel Beckett

„for his writing, which – in new forms for the novel and drama – in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1968

Yasunari Kawabata

„for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1967

Miguel Angel Asturias

„for his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1966

Shmuel Yosef Agnon

„for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people”

Nelly Sachs

„for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel’s destiny with touching strength”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1965

Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov

„for the artistic power and integrity with which, in his epic of the Don, he has given expression to a historic phase in the life of the Russian people”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1964

Jean-Paul Sartre

„for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1963

Giorgos Seferis

„for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1962

John Steinbeck

„for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1961

Ivo Andric

„for the epic force with which he has traced themes and depicted human destinies drawn from the history of his country”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1960

Saint-John Perse

„for the soaring flight and the evocative imagery of his poetry which in a visionary fashion reflects the conditions of our time”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1959

Salvatore Quasimodo

„for his lyrical poetry, which with classical fire expresses the tragic experience of life in our own times”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1958

Boris Leonidovich Pasternak

„for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1957

Albert Camus

„for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1956

Juan Ramón Jiménez

„for his lyrical poetry, which in Spanish language constitutes an example of high spirit and artistical purity”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1955

Halldór Kiljan Laxness

„for his vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1954

Ernest Miller Hemingway

„for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1953

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill

„for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1952

François Mauriac

„for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1951

Pär Fabian Lagerkvist

„for the artistic vigour and true independence of mind with which he endeavours in his poetry to find answers to the eternal questions confronting mankind”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1950

Earl (Bertrand Arthur William) Russell

„in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1949

William Faulkner

„for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1948

Thomas Stearns Eliot

„for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1947

André Paul Guillaume Gide

„for his comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human problems and conditions have been presented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1946

Hermann Hesse

„for his inspired writings which, while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1945

Gabriela Mistral

„for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1944

Johannes Vilhelm Jensen

„for the rare strength and fertility of his poetic imagination with which is combined an intellectual curiosity of wide scope and a bold, freshly creative style”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1943

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1942

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1941

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1940

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1939

Frans Eemil Sillanpää

„for his deep understanding of his country’s peasantry and the exquisite art with which he has portrayed their way of life and their relationship with Nature”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1938

Pearl Buck

„for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1937

Roger Martin du Gard

„for the artistic power and truth with which he has depicted human conflict as well as some fundamental aspects of contemporary life in his novel-cycle Les Thibault

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1936

Eugene Gladstone O’Neill

„for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1935

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1934

Luigi Pirandello

„for his bold and ingenious revival of dramatic and scenic art”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1933

Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin

„for the strict artistry with which he has carried on the classical Russian traditions in prose writing”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1932

John Galsworthy

„for his distinguished art of narration which takes its highest form in The Forsyte Saga

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1931

Erik Axel Karlfeldt

„The poetry of Erik Axel Karlfeldt”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1930

Sinclair Lewis

„for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humour, new types of characters”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1929

Thomas Mann

„principally for his great novel, Buddenbrooks, which has won steadily increased recognition as one of the classic works of contemporary literature”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1928

Sigrid Undset

„principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1927

Henri Bergson

„in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1926

Grazia Deledda

„for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1925

George Bernard Shaw

„for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1924

Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont

„for his great national epic, The Peasants

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1923

William Butler Yeats

„for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1922

Jacinto Benavente

„for the happy manner in which he has continued the illustrious traditions of the Spanish drama”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1921

Anatole France

„in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1920

Knut Pedersen Hamsun

„for his monumental work, Growth of the Soil

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1919

Carl Friedrich Georg Spitteler

„in special appreciation of his epic, Olympian Spring

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1918

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1917

Karl Adolph Gjellerup

„for his varied and rich poetry, which is inspired by lofty ideals”

Henrik Pontoppidan

„for his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1916

Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam

„in recognition of his significance as the leading representative of a new era in our literature”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1915

Romain Rolland

„as a tribute to the lofty idealism of his literary production and to the sympathy and love of truth with which he has described different types of human beings”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1914

No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1913

Rabindranath Tagore

„because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1912

Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann

„primarily in recognition of his fruitful, varied and outstanding production in the realm of dramatic art”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1911

Count Maurice (Mooris) Polidore Marie Bernhard Maeterlinck

„in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers’ own feelings and stimulate their imaginations”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1910

Paul Johann Ludwig Heyse

„as a tribute to the consummate artistry, permeated with idealism, which he has demonstrated during his long productive career as a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist and writer of world-renowned short stories”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1909

Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf

„in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1908

Rudolf Christoph Eucken

„in recognition of his earnest search for truth, his penetrating power of thought, his wide range of vision, and the warmth and strength in presentation with which in his numerous works he has vindicated and developed an idealistic philosophy of life”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1907

Rudyard Kipling

„in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1906

Giosuè Carducci

„not only in consideration of his deep learning and critical research, but above all as a tribute to the creative energy, freshness of style, and lyrical force which characterize his poetic masterpieces”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1905

Henryk Sienkiewicz

„because of his outstanding merits as an epic writer”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1904

Frédéric Mistral

„in recognition of the fresh originality and true inspiration of his poetic production, which faithfully reflects the natural scenery and native spirit of his people, and, in addition, his significant work as a Provençal philologist”

José Echegaray y Eizaguirre

„in recognition of the numerous and brilliant compositions which, in an individual and original manner, have revived the great traditions of the Spanish drama”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1903

Bjørnstjerne Martinus Bjørnson

„as a tribute to his noble, magnificent and versatile poetry, which has always been distinguished by both the freshness of its inspiration and the rare purity of its spirit”

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1902

Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen

„the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A history of Rome

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1901

Sully Prudhomme

„in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect”

To cite this page
MLA style: „All Nobel Prizes in Literature”. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 5 Aug 2015. <;

Ce citim vara asta. Cinci recomandari de lectura de la Dan C. Mihailescu

Dan C. MihailescuCu un top 5 al cartilor de citit vara asta, criticul si istoricul literar Dan C. Mihailescu ne spune care sunt cartile pe care ni le recomanda, dar si ce citeste zilele acestea. Pe primul loc in lista de titluri pentru cititorii Paul Morand, „Bucuresti”. Plus: ce le recomanda soferilor pentru cele patru ceasuri Bucuresti-Sibiu, ca sa devina „un om de altadata. Adica un om si jumatate”. l-a intrebat pe cunoscutul critic si istoric literar Dan C. Mihailescu – care sunt 5 recomandari de lectura, pentru vara asta. Vezi mai jos raspunsurile sale, oferite via e-mail.

Rep: Ce carti nou-aparute ne recomandati vara asta, pentru concediu, si de ce?
Dan C. Mihailescu: Am topul cu cinci tilturi deja in cartusiera:

1) Paul Morand, Bucuresti, Ed. Humanitas. Cartea unui calator frenetic, insurat cu Elena Chrissoveloni Sutu (greco-romanca, spita de bancheri, fermecator de apriga femeie) si pentru care Bucurestii se recomandau Europei ca o irezistibila „cura de nepasare”. Citita azi, dupa 80 de ani, ne este oglinda vie si la bine si la rau.

2) Jean d’Ormesson, Ciudata e lumea, pana la urma, Ed. Baroque. Spectacolul magnetizant al unui academician octogenar care lupta, cu seducatoare jovialitate, sa-l impace pe Dumnezeu cu stiinta, sa imbine placerile cu ratiunea, sa amestece conservatismul cu liberalismul, pe scurt: sa arda paradoxuri in numele dulcetii de-a fi.

3) Donna Tartt, Sticletele, Ed. Litera. Nu degeaba o lauda Stephen King. Fie ca v-ati format gustul romanesc la scoala lui Dickens, fie ca ati deschis ochii pe Jan McEwan aveti aici un roman zdravan, simfonic, musculos si nevrotic totodata, leac perfect de compensat insomniile caniculare.

4) Gabrielle Zevin, Viata de poveste a lui A.J.Fikry, Editura Nemira. Carte romantioasa, pentru patimasii bibliofili, cu zone de inefabil anacronic, cearcane sprintene si bucurii duioase. Poveste de dragoste printre rafturi de librarie, cu hachite haioase si-un final de-o nobila tristete.

5) Regal de vara Salvador Dali la Humanitas: Jurnalul unui geniu reeditat simultan cu Chipuri ascunse, singurul roman scris (in 1943) de divinul nebun al ceasurilor lichefiate, deghizat huysmansian intr-un Des Esseintes adorator abstinent, iubind in absolut, dar inseland cu nonsalanta si, oricum, dubland halucinant estetismul cu instinctualitatea.

Rep: Ce cititi dumneavoastra, zilele acestea?
Dan C. Mihailescu: August este, de 15 ani pentru mine (adica de cand realizez „Omul care aduce cartea„), luna lecturilor de placere. Prin urmare, abia acum am vreme sa ma avant in cea de-a doua mie de pagini din corespondenta lui Paul Morand cu Jacques Chardonne, aparuta-n primavara la Gallimard si despre care as vrea sa scriu in Romania literara.

Rep: Ce obiceiuri de lectura ati constatat in jurul dumneavoastra, in perioada asta?
Dan C. Mihailescu: Pentru multa lume, vara este menita lecturilor usoare, de plaja, hamac, livada sau terasa. Evazionism, minimalism, exotism, memorialistica, suspans, povesti de succes, lecturi motivationale. Pentru altii, mult mai putini, abia acum vine timpul meditatiei intense, al ragazurilor zen, reculegerii, imblanzirii de sine. Dar mie in clipa asta imi place sa ma gandesc la soferi, la cei care umbla masiv cu masina pe sosele, prin munti, prin circuitele turismului cultural etc. Le recomand fierbinte audiobook-urile. Asculti in extaz, cale de patru ceasuri – Bucuresti-Sibiu – cele trei CD-uri cu Andrei Plesu citind Craii de Curtea Veche si la coborare esti pur si simplu alt om. Un om de altadata. Adica un om si jumatate.

de Raluca Pantazi 

Here Are the Best Books of 2015 So Far

See TIME’s picks for our favorite titles from the front half of the year

It’s turning into a big year for readers. Though highly-anticipated releases from authors such as Jonathan Franzen and Harper Lee remain on the horizon, 2015 has already produced enough great books to topple a nightstand.

To help you sort through the year’s offerings or choose which titles to add to your summer reading list, TIME has ranked the best books of 2015 (so far). The picks span genre and form — including a darkly enchanting collection of short stories, a delightful novel featuring a dysfunctional bride-to-be and a singing memoir chronicling both grief and, yes, taming a hawk. Happy reading!

  • a god in ruins

    Atkinson covers four generations of the Todd family that was at the center of her novel, Life After Life. The narrative jumps throughout the 20th century around the story of Teddy Todd, a Royal Air Force pilot in World War II who struggles with his postwar survival.

  • Seveneves by Neal Stephenson


    When disaster dooms the planet, people across the world unite to send a coalition into outer space and ensure the survival of their species. After 5,000 years, seven races of humans stem from the survivors, and they attempt to return to a changed earth.

  • I Take You by Eliza Kennedy

    i take you
    Lily Wilder, a promiscuous lawyer in New York, prepares to marry her archaeologist fiancé, Will. The novel follows her difficulties embracing monogamy in both theory and practice, told with the inflection of Lily’s humor.

  • Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

    Each of these nine stories takes place in a seemingly normal setting, such as a hotel or at a birthday party, into which dark elements of the fantastic and supernatural subtly intrude.

  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

    trigger warning
    A collection of tales from virtuoso storyteller Neil Gaiman, ranging from horror to science fiction to fairy tales to verse. They include “adventure story,” Gaiman’s rumination on death, and “a calendar of tales,” short takes inspired by his replies to fan tweets.

  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

    H is for Hawk
    An experienced falconer, Macdonald resolves to train a vicious predator, the goshawk, as a means to cope with the death of her father. This stunning memoir explores the deep strange bond she forms with her bird.

  • The Story of Alice by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

    the story of alice

    The Story of Alice charts the curious, controversial friendship between Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson (more commonly known as Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell, the child for whom he created Alice in Wonderland. The book also explores how and why Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, have had such lasting cultural resonance.

  • The Brothers by Masha Gessen

    Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen’s passionate, opinionated, deeply reported exploration of the long road that led the Tsarnaev brothers to commit the Boston Marathon bombing. She traces the family’s history from Chechnya to a precarious Boston-area immigrant demi-monde, asking urgent questions and avoiding simple answers.

  • The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits

    Inspired by diaries from her childhood, Heidi Julavits chronicles her daily life in this diary-form memoir that is simultaneously about small details and big ideas.

  • How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt

    Journalist Stephen Witt writes a lucid, mordantly funny account of the rise of digital music piracy, starting with the story of a worker in a North Carolina CD-pressing plant who personally leaked more than 2,000 albums over eight years.

Man Booker prize 2015 longlist: let the ‘posh bingo’ begin

Image result for man booker prize 2015 longlistAt midday on Wednesday, the opening list of runners and riders for Britain’s leading books prize is unleashed on the reading world. Who will it be? Who will it be?

With less than 24 hours to go before the longlist is announced, we’re starting to wonder who’ll make up this year’s Man Booker dozen – even though offering predictions is, in this game of “posh bingo”, as Julian Barnes put it, a bit like filling in your card before the numbers have been called.

In the second year that American authors have been eligible, one obvious contender is Hanya Yanagihara’s epic tearjerker about love, friendship and the effects of childhood abuse: A Little Life is hot off presses in the UK and currently consuming readers on both sides of the Atlantic. Other US novels to look out for include Marilynne Robinson’s Lila, the third in her Gilead series, published to ecstatic reviews last November; a strong debut from Atticus Lish exploring poverty and hard graft in an unforgiving post-crash US, Preparation for the Next Life; plus highly praised novels of New York intellectual life (Ben Lerner’s 10:04), politics and race in Clinton’s Houston (Attica Locke’s Pleasantville) and gothic goings-on in rural Virginia (Sara Taylor’s The Shore).

Laird Hunt’s Neverhome, told in the voice of a woman fighting as a man in the American civil war, deserves a wider readership; while Jonathan Franzen’s first novel in five years, out at the beginning of September, is sure to make headlines whatever happens. Purity, about a young woman in search of her father, will either give him his first Booker nomination or see him take Martin Amis’s place as author-most-reported-for-his absence.

The British frontrunner must be Kazuo Ishiguro, for his elusive meditation on memory and forgetting, The Buried Giant, which used fantasy tropes to interrogate national and personal trauma – though it’s a book that violently divided readers. Then there’s previous Booker winner Anne Enright’s brilliant, unforgiving novel about family, The Green Road, and Sarah Hall’s Wolf Border, both a timely examination of the role of wilderness in the land and the psyche and a further development from one of the UK’s best writers.

Sunjeev Sahota’s impressive Year of the Runaways is equally timely, going behind headlines on immigration; Richard Beard’s time- and genre-bending biblical thriller Acts of the Assassins is brilliantly weird; and Grace McCleen’s disturbing, lyrical third novel The Offering marks her out as a writer to watch. From Zimbabwe, what about Petina Gappah’s forthcoming The Book of Memory, about a woman on death row; or from Australia, Steve Toltz’s wild, dark and funny Quicksand?

But there’s no shortage of big names jostling for contention too, from Colm Tóibín’s Nora Webster, Andrew O’Hagan’s The Illuminations and Peter Carey’s Amnesia, to forthcoming titles from Salman Rushdie, John Banville, William Boyd, Margaret Atwood, Pat Barker, Andrew Miller, Tessa Hadley and more.

Personal preferences? I’d love to see a place for Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things, in which an evangelist takes the word of God from a collapsing Earth to an alien planet, a book as unusual and as beautifully written as you might expect from the author of Under the Skin; and for Marlon James’s Jamaican tour de force A Brief History of Seven Killings. Most recently I’ve loved Gavin McCrea’s debut Mrs Engels, based on the lives of the working-class Irish sisters who shared their lives with Marx and Engels.

Over to you. Are you swayed by William Hill’s offer of 33/1 for Go Set a Watchman to take the gong? What are you hoping to see on the Booker longlist when it’s unveiled at noon on Wednesday? And what – a different question, perhaps – are you expecting?

Ana Dontsu, în finala Concursului literar PEN International “New Voices 2015″

Concursul literar “New Voices 2015″ al PEN International a fost creat în 2013 pentru tineri poeți și prozatori între 18 și 30 de ani,  din lumea întreagă, care nu au publicat încă un volum la o editură, dar care pot să fi publicat în diverse reviste pe hîrtie sau pe siteuri electronice.

La concursul din 2015, un juriu internațional alcătuit din scriitorii Zakariya Amataya, Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, Edwige-Renée Dro, Drago Jančar, Yann Martel și Olga Tokarczuk, a selectat o listă lungă de 6 nume provenind de la PEN-uri puternice : Carien Smith (PEN Afrikaans), Nozizwe Dube (PEN Flanders), Lea Sauer (German PEN), Sophie Prévost (PEN Québec), Rebecca F John (Wales PEN Cymru) și Ana Dontsu (PEN România).
E a doua participare a PEN România la acest concurs, și e și a doua nominalizare, după cea de anul trecut în care tînăra poeta Amalia Cernat a ajuns în finală.