Nobel Prize Award for Literature 1966 to 1972

About the Nobel Prize Award for Literature 1966 to 1972 including the authors such as Beckett and Neruda, their works, and history.


1966 Shmuel Y. Agnon (1888-1970), Israeli

Work: The Bridal Canopy; A Guest for the Night Nelly Sachs (1891-1970), Swedish

Work: Collected Poems

Nobel Laureates: According to family tradition, Agnon was descended from the prophet Samuel. He considered Jerusalem his spiritual birthplace, and at 19 left his native Buczacz, in eastern Galicia, for the land of Israel. At five he had written his first song, and he was barely 13 when he began publishing prose and poetry in Yiddish and in Hebrew. In Israel his name Czaczkes became Agnon (from his story "Agunot") and the language of the Bible became his medium. In 1913 he went to Germany, where he worked with Martin Buber on his tales; met Salman Schocken, who became his publisher; and got married. In 1924 he settled in Jerusalem with his family and wove the multidimensioned, sometimes Chagallian tapestries that brought him Israel's highest awards and half a Nobel laureateship.

Nelly Sachs was a well-to-do, well-bred young lady, Berlin-born, who studied music and painting and scribbled romantic poetry. Then Hitler rose to power. Romanticism was trampled underfoot. Through the intervention of the Swedish royal family--responding to the pleas of Nelly's pen pal, novelist Selma Lagerlof--the Jewish poet and her mother escaped to Sweden. There, in her 50s, she became famous for her "lyrical laments of painful beauty," poems that create a cosmic frame for Jewish suffering in an inferno beyond Dante's grisliest imaginings. When she accepted the German Publishers' Peace Prize in 1965, she said to them, "In spite of all the horrors of the past, I believe in you."

1967 Miguel Angel Asturias (1899-1974), Guatemalan

Work: Men of Corn; Mulata

Nobel Laureate: He got his law degree from the University of Guatemala in 1923 and spent a few months in London studying political economy and 10 years in Paris studying ethnology and writing for Latin-American newspapers. His Legends of Guatemala received an award in the "best Spanish-American book published in France" category. While in France he wrote The President, a bitter book about that recurring 20th-century phenomenon, the Latin-American dictator. In 1933, when he returned to a Guatemala under despot Jorge Ubico, he had to leave his incendiary manuscript behind. When the regime was overthrown in 1944, Asturias was appointed cultural attache to Mexico, where The President was finally published. He also held diplomatic posts in other Central and South American countries, while he wrote poems and novels about the wretched lot of the Indian peasants and their exploitation by American imperialists. In 1966 he received the Lenin Peace Prize and was appointed ambassador to France. He made his home in Paris. He died in Madrid.

1968 Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972), Japanese

Work: Snow Country; The Thousand Cranes

1969 Samuel Beckett (1906- ), Irish

Work: Waiting for Godot

1970 Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn (1918- ), Russian

Work: The Cancer Ward; One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; The First Circle

1971 Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), Chilean

Work: Collected Poems

1972 Heinrich Boll (1917- ), German

Work: Billiards at 9:30; Group Portrait with Lady

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