Monday, January 2, 2017

Anna Akhmatova was nominated for the Nobel prize for literature in 1966 – TASS

STOCKHOLM, January 2. /Offset. TASS Irina Dergacheva/. The candidacy of Anna Akhmatova was nominated for the Nobel prize for literature in 1966. This is evidenced by published on Monday by the Swedish Academy archival documents. The list of nominees are kept secret for 50 years.

the name of the great Russian poet was invited by professors of Slavic languages the University of Gothenburg Gunnar Jacobsson and Harvard University Roman Jacobson. Akhmatova died on 5 March 1966, so at a later stage of the deliberations of the Nobel Committee for her candidacy was not considered.

Just released the list of the 72 names, including Vladimir Nabokov, Konstantin Paustovsky, Samuel Beckett, Louis Aragon, Alberto Moravia, Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda. Before the vote, the Swedish Academy discussed the nominations of the Japanese writer Yasunari Kawabata (received the award in 1968), English novelist Graham Greene, and had become in 1966 Nobel laureate Israeli author Shmuel Agnon (awarded “deeply original the art of storytelling, inspired by Jewish folk motives”) and the German poetess Nelly Sachs ( “for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which explores the fate of the Jewish people”).

Candidate Akhmatova was considered in 1965

In 1965, Anna Akhmatova was first nominated for the Nobel prize for literature. But then her work had impressed members of the Swedish Academy are considerably less impressed than her fate. In particular, the Chairman of the Nobel Committee Anders Westerlund mentions that he had read the poetry of Akhmatova in translation. “I was impressed by her true inspiration and the refined technique, but much more I was moved by the fate of the poet – for many years to be sentenced to heavy, forced silence!” he said.

From the open last year, documents reveal that in 1965 the majority of the members of the Swedish Academy made the award to Mikhail Sholokhov. Until then, however, the Nobel Committee discussed the possibility to divide the prize between the author “the quiet don” and Akhmatova, but Westerlund rejected this proposal. He said: “Sholokhov, Akhmatova and write in one language, but more than anything they do not”.


Nominations for the prestigious award have the right to propose members of the Swedish Academy and similar institutions in other countries, professors of literature and linguistics, award winners of previous years, and the chairmen of writers ‘ organizations. Every year in October, the Academy sends out 600-700 invitation to my colleagues in different countries so that they invited candidates for the Nobel prize. It must be done before 31 January, to the Swedish Academy during the spring were able to identify in this list the first 20 most meritorious writers, and then cut it to five. Over the summer, the members of the Academy, I would like to see the works of the nominees to discuss their candidacy in the fall.

the name of the future owner of the most prestigious awards in the world until the last moment kept secret. The members of the Nobel Committee for literature when discussing the candidates do not use real names of poets and writers, and invented aliases. For example, the English playwright Harold Pinter called “Harry Potter”, and the Frenchman Jean-Marie Gustave Leclezio called “Chateaubriand”.

the Choice of the Swedish Academy, laureate of the literary prize, as well as awards of the world, traditionally causing the greatest disputes in the public and expert circles. The first winner in 1901, French poet and essayist Sully Prudhomme – was perceived very ambiguous. A group of cultural figures of the Kingdom, led by the writer August Strindberg (it included also the writer Selma lagerlöf and the artist Anders Zorn) proceeded against decisions of the Swedish Academy, which, in their opinion, was to reward Leo Tolstoy as the most significant representative of world literature.


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