Nobel Prize Award for Literature 1937 to 1945

About the Nobel Prize Award for Literature 1937 to 1945 including the authors such as Du Gard and Pearl S. Buck, their works, and history.

LITERATURE

1937 Roger Martin Du Gard (1881-1958), French

Work: The Thibaults

Nobel Laureate: "I like an author to exhaust his subject in the manner of the great Russian or English novelists," admitted the archivist-paleographer whose model was Tolstoi's War and Peace and whose monumental eight-part novel, The Thibaults, gained him a Nobel Prize. Through Andre Gide--the lifelong friend with whom he exchanged over 1,000 letters--young Du Gard became interested in the experimental theater. Throughout W.W. I ("two barbarisms locked in struggle"), the lad who had infuriated his father by opting for a Larousse dictionary instead of a rifle, led a transport division at the front. A perfectionist and a stickler for accuracy, he needed a truck to cart his copious notes when he changed residences. He spent 10 years researching Jean Barois, a book about the Dreyfus affair, and he devoted 14 years to The Thibaults, his richly detailed portrayal of prewar France and a stupefyingly inert Europe on the brink of W.W. I. His pacifist preachings were muted by W.W. II, and his involvement in Resistance activities put him on the Germans' wanted list. The only speech he gave in public was his acceptance speech at the Stockholm Nobel Prize--giving ceremonies. His predilection for privacy extended beyond the grave; his personal papers, now at the Bibliotheque Nationale, will not be available until 1983.

Nobel Lore: Here's one odd instance where chauvinism did not raise its familiar head. Du Gard was never nominated by his own countrymen, perhaps because of his Marxist sympathies (although he professed to be "a man without dogma"). When he was awarded the Grand Prix Litteraire de La Ville de Paris in October, 1937, newsmen wondered whether the Municipal Council had not "completely passed over to the Popular Front." And one reviewer topped off a discussion of Vieille France, Du Gard's savage indictment of rural decadence, with this choleric comment: "It is for having written these horrors about our peasants that this fellow . . . was made a millionaire by the sadists in Stockholm."

1938 Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), American

Work: The Good Earth

1939 Frans E. Sillanpaa (1888-1964), Finnish

Work: Meek Heritage

1940 No award

1941 No award

1942 No award

1943 No award

1944 Johannes V. Jensen (1873-1950), Danish

Work: The Long Journey

1945 Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957), Chilean

Work: Havoc

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