The 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to the second place by odds, and the first place is a Chinese writer

The National Day holiday, which is about to end, is also the award season for the Nobel Prize.

Among them, the Nobel Prize in Literature is the Mount Everest that countless writers hope to conquer, and it is also the award with the highest sense of public participation.

At 19:00 Beijing time, the Swedish Academy announced the results. This year's Nobel Prize in Literature went to Norwegian novelist and playwright Jon Fosse. The award citation was "in recognition of his innovative dramas and prose, which are indescribable." things sound”.

After learning of the award, Jon Fother told Reuters:

I was overwhelmed and a little scared. I think it's a reward for literature, literature first, and no other considerations.

Jorn Fosse's works in Norwegian Nynorsk span a variety of genres, including plays, novels, poetry, essays, children's books and translations. He is one of the most widely performed playwrights in the world today. "Somebody's Coming" has been translated into Chinese, and at the same time his prose is increasingly recognized.

Norwegian Nynorsk, also known as New Norwegian, is spoken by only about 10% of the country's population. Jon Fother believes that winning the award is also related to the promotion of the language.

Talking back to the Nobel Prize for Literature itself, it attracts a lot of attention because of its high prize money, long history, odds list of bookmakers, and Haruki Murakami’s running memes all year round. This year’s hot spots are all warmed up. Among the candidates, there are also names of domestic writers.

The winner, Eon Fother, ended up ranked second on the odds list of the British betting website Nicer Odds, so he was not considered an upset.

The odds list is actually just the "nomination list" of the betting company, and it is not the same thing as the Nobel Prize nomination.

▲ Picture from:

Nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature are not announced to the public every year, only the winners are announced on the day, and the nomination information is made public after a 50-year confidentiality period.

Therefore, writers who are on the betting odds list will often share the title of "Hot Nobel Prize Writers". Whether they are actually officially nominated will only be known in 50 years.

▲If you want to know whether Haruki Murakami is really nominated for the Nobel Prize, you have to wait for decades.

Regardless of whether the people on the list win the prize or not, it is better to think of the Nobel Prize in Literature and the odds list as a way to get to know new writers. In addition to the only winner, the "accompanying runners" who are outside the mainstream view and applause are also worthy of attention.

As of the award time, the following are the top five in the EU version of this year's Nicer Odds odds list. "Old friend" Haruki Murakami is in tenth place.

Can Xue

Can Xue, whose real name is Deng Xiaohua, was born in Changsha in 1953. She began publishing works in 1985 and joined the Chinese Writers Association in 1988. She is known as a representative figure of avant-garde literature and the earliest female writer in China to engage in experimental literature. Her elder brother is a well-known philosopher Deng Xiaomang.

Can Xue's works present active imagination and profound spiritual world. His representative works include "The Cabin on the Mountain", "Old Floating Clouds", "The Last Lover", "The Barefoot Doctor", "Huangni Street", "Water Village", etc.

Can Xue is less well-known in China and has not won any of the four major domestic literary awards. However, she is the Chinese female writer whose works have been translated and published the most abroad. Her novels have been selected as literary textbooks for Harvard and other world-famous schools. She is highly praised by the American and Japanese literary circles. Very high.

Ma Yueran, an academician of the Swedish Academy, called him "Kafka of China", and American writer Susan Sontag once said, "Can Xue is the best writer in China."

In 2019, Canxue ranked third on the Nicer Odds odds list, which caused a sensation at the time. This year, she ranked first on the odds list many times and became a popular candidate, but in the end she regretted running away.

Can Xue's ranking in the odds list is particularly high this year, mainly because the Swedish version of her novel "New Century Love Story" was released. The translator Chen Anna has translated a large number of works by Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan.

▲Cover of the Swedish version of "Love Story of the New Century".

In addition, Nobel committee member Micaela Bloomquist also wrote an article commenting on her "New Century Love Story", saying that Can Xue writes in a "branched and complex way".

Can Xue himself is very calm about the Nobel Prize in Literature, and once responded in an interview:

I think this is a good thing. It doesn’t matter whether you win or not, the main benefit is that the work is spread.

Jon Fosse

Jon Fother, a Norwegian novelist and playwright, was born in 1959. He is always ranked first or second in this year's odds list and is also the final winner.

He won the International Ibsen Award in 2010 and is known as the "New Ibsen".

Gerald Murnane

Gerald Moonan, Australian writer, born in 1939, is ranked third in this year's odds list.

His writing style is refreshing and clear, and he has published more than ten novels and a series of essay collections. His representative work is the 1982 novel "The Plains", which has been rated as "a mirage of landscape, memory, love and literature itself".

Currently, there are no Chinese versions of Gerald Moonan's works. The New York Times in 2018 called him "the greatest living English-language writer that most people have never heard of."

Anne Carson

Anne Carson, Canadian poet, writer, classicist, and translator of classical documents, was born in 1950.

His first collection of essays, "Eros and Sweet Pain" in 1986, started from ancient Greek poetry to analyze the ancient Greeks' worldview on love.

The poetry collection "The Autobiography of Red", published in 1998, is adapted from the fragments of the lyric poet Stacey Cruz and has been introduced into the Chinese version.

Lyudmila Ulitskaya

Lyudmila Ulitskaya, a Russian novelist, was born in a Jewish intellectual family in 1943 and engaged in genetic research in her early years.

Most of her works describe the survival and situation of contemporary Russian women. A series of works such as "Sonicka", "The Case of Dr. Kukotsky", "Yakov's Ladder" and "Your Faithful Shurik" have been translated into 30 Multiple languages, but no Chinese version yet.

Lyudmila Ulitskaya opposed Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and moved to Berlin in March 2022.

In addition to the winners and accompanying candidates, you may also be interested in the following trivia or hot facts about the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Nobel prize money increased this year

This year, the prize money for each Nobel Prize will be increased by 1 million Swedish kronor (approximately 650,000 yuan), reaching 11 million Swedish kronor (approximately 7.15 million yuan), which is the highest level in history.

The Nobel Foundation said it added money because it was financially feasible. At the end of 2022, the foundation's total investment capital market value was 5.799 billion Swedish kronor (approximately 3.769 billion yuan).

The Nobel Prize has fluctuated many times in history. In 1901, the first Nobel Prize was 150,000 Swedish kronor. In 2001, the centenary of the Nobel Prize, it reached 10 million Swedish kronor for the first time. In 2012, it dropped to 8 million, and returned to 1,000 in 2020. million, rising to 11 million this year.

The selection process for the Nobel Prize in Literature

Every September, the Nobel Committee sends out nomination forms to hundreds of individuals and organizations who are eligible to nominate. There are 4 types of “qualifications”:

  • Member of the Swedish Academy and other similar academies;
  • University professor of literature and linguistics;
  • Previous Nobel Prize winners in literature;
  • Presidents of associations of writers representing the literary works of their respective countries.

The completed nomination form is sent back before February of the following year, and then the Nobel Committee shortlists a shortlist of about 250 candidates and submits it to the Swedish Academy for approval.

In April, 15-20 preliminary candidates are selected. In May, the list was whittled down to about five names.

From June to August, 18 Swedish Academy members read and evaluate the final candidates' works, and discuss them in September.
In early October, the Academy selects the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast.

Therefore, the Nobel Prize in Literature is only the opinion of a few people. Chen Wenfen, wife of Ma Yueran, academician of the Swedish Academy, once said:

The Nobel Prize in Literature is only a prize selected by a book club of 18 people in a small Nordic country. It is not selecting a world literary champion. At the same time, this prize is given to a certain writer every year, not to a certain country. .

The Shocking Scandal of the Nobel Prize in Literature

In November 2017, the Swedish Academy, which is responsible for selecting and awarding the Nobel Prize for Literature, was caught in a scandal. 18 women successively accused the husband of Katarina Frostenson, an academician of the Swedish Academy, of sexual harassment and assault.

This person is also suspected of seeking power for personal gain by revealing the direction of the selection, and the fairness of the Nobel Prize has therefore been questioned.

The awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature was postponed to 2019, and the two winners of the two years were announced at the same time.

The Swedish Academy has a total of 18 lifelong academicians, whose vacancies can only be filled when someone dies, but the rules were changed after the scandal in 2018 to allow academicians to resign or be dismissed on their own initiative.

There may be a pattern to the Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize for Literature, established in 1901, has been criticized for "Eurocentrism". Judging from the data, it is true that the number of times it is awarded to writers outside Europe and the United States is not many.

Before the results were announced in 2019, Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel Prize Committee, stood up and said:

In the past we had a more Eurocentric perspective on literature…now we're looking at the whole world.

"How to Win the Nobel Prize – A Close Reading of the Swedish Academy's Award Speech" published in The Paris Review in 2014 also studied a very interesting question:

Which words appear frequently in the award speeches of previous Nobel Prizes for Literature?

Author Dan Piepenbring discovered the following: ideal, traditional, contemporary, great, epic, fresh, lyrical, truth, and reality. He joked that any writer hoping to win an award should pay attention, as it might be the key to winning.

The proportion of "ideal" is perhaps the most well-deserved. Alfred Nobel's original intention of establishing the Nobel Prize in Literature was also to reward "those who have created the best works with an ideal tendency in the field of literature."

"Clues" to the Nobel Prize in Literature

Every awards season, bookmakers’ odds lists always get the most attention. The higher the ranking on the odds list, the lower the odds and the more likely you are to win.

Of course, writers have certain basis for being on the list. For example, they have won or been shortlisted for well-known literary awards such as Booker, and their works have a reputation in international publishing. Only then can they be pushed to the front by probability, big data and mathematical formulas.

Among them, the Booker Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and France's Prix Goncourt are known as the "three major literary awards in the world." Many writers have been nominated for or won the Booker Prize, and then received the Nobel Prize for Literature, including Kazuo Ishiguro in 2017, Tokarczuk in 2018, Anne Ernault in 2022, etc.

The same writer may be on the odds list for many years. In addition to Can Xue, Chinese writers such as Yu Hua and Yan Lianke are also frequent visitors to the odds list.

But the prediction may not be accurate. Gurna, the winner in 2021, does not appear on the odds list at all, which is the so-called "big upset".

▲"It's Happening".

In addition, the film of the same name as Tokarczuk's novel "The Land of Bones" won the Silver Bear Award at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival, and the film "As It Happens" based on the autobiography of Anne Ernault won the 78th Venice International Film Festival. Golden Lion Award. Therefore, film festival awards may also be a weather vane.

Of course, it is common for military strategists to guess incorrectly. Literary value, international reputation, region, gender, language, etc. are only possible influencing factors, but the betting company can always take a commission from the bet.

The announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature is one of the most exciting moments in the world for literature in a year. If you don’t have enough money left during the vacation, you might want to add works by popular Nobel Prize-winning writers to your reading list on the way back. Whether the prediction is accurate or inaccurate is only a temporary result. It should be interesting to have a conversation with literature itself and expand your reading scope.

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