Nobel Prize Award for Literature 1933 to 1936

About the Nobel Prize Award for Literature 1933 to 1936 including the authors such as Bunin and O'Neill, their works, and history.

LITERATURE

1933 Ivan A. Bunin (1870-1953), Russian

Work: The Gentleman from San Francisco; The Well of Days

Nobel Laureate: "Oh, well, write if you have a great fancy for it," was Tolstoi's advice to the budding Bunin, "but remember that it can never be the goal of your life." Wasted words of wisdom. Little Ivan penned his first poem at the age of eight and published his first volume of poetry at 21. He garnered the Russian Academy's Pushkin Prize for translating Longfellow's Hiawatha (the first piece of American literature read in Russian), and he was elected to the academy in 1909. International recognition came in 1910 with The Village, a fictionalized expose of peasant life--bleak, brutal, squalid. He sided with the reactionaries in the Russian Revolution, and in 1919 fled to France, dividing his time between Paris and the Riviera. Within a year of receiving his Nobel Prize money, he had spent it, distributing it among exiled countrymen, White Russians, and expatriates. During the Occupation, he helped refugees from Nazism. The greatest living Russian novelist--as Maksim Gorki called him--died in semi-obscurity, in voluntary exile and involuntary poverty.

Nobel Lore: Conscience may make cowards of us all, but it made a laureate out of Bunin. He was selected, explained Dr. Anders Osterling, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, "to pay off our bad consciences on Chekhov and Tolstoi." Tolstoi's name had come up nine times in succession and had been turned down every time (because his work was full of "detestable opinions on art, government, and civilization"), and Chekhov was checked off for reasons equally unrelated to literature. Swedish antipathy to Russia, rooted in history (and geography), rendered the committee chronically incapable of recognizing Russian talent. So the first Russian to be cited was an emigre, a vehement anticommunist who was extolled for "thoroughly exploring the soul of vanished Russia"--an exploration he conducted from faraway France.

1934 Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936), Italian

Work: Six Characters in Search of an Author

1935 No award

1936 Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953), American

Work: Anna Christie; Mourning Becomes Electra

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