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Nobel Lectures: From the Literature Laureates, 1986 to 2006 Hardcover – October 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Since the first Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded in 1901, controversy has surrounded the prize, the laureates and their Nobel lectures, often relating to political engagement or lack thereof. Covering the past 20 years, this collection gathers the remarks of writers as diverse as Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, Seamus Heaney, Toni Morrison and Naguib Mahfouz. Pamuk speaks of writing as a solitary venture: writers must feel compelled to shut ourselves up in a room... so that we can create a deep world in our writing. Harold Pinter uses his moment in the Nobel sun to issue a strident attack on the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq. For Gao Xingjian, the writer's task involves the search for truth: To subvert is not the aim of literature; its value lies in discovering and revealing... truth of the human world.... And Joseph Brodsky concludes that a human being is an aesthetic creature before he is an ethical one. While the lectures provide inspiring glimpses of the nature of literature and the aim of the writing life, the collection lacks a strong introduction to explore these disparate views or to explain the rationale for a collection of speeches that are readily available elsewhere. (Oct.)
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About the Author

The Nobel Prize is an international award instituted by the Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel through his will and administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. First awarded in 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature celebrates the work of a writer whose contribution to literature consistently transcends national boundaries to connect with the human condition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: New Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595582010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595582010
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,657,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Au Yong on December 3, 2010
Nobel Lectures: From the Literature Laureates, 1986 to 2006 contains 21 talks given by writers upon accepting this acknowledgement of their work.

I initially checked out this book to read more from Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka. I found myself captivated by many of the other authors. Following are eight quotes I gathered from reading this collection.

Orhan Pamuk
In My Father's Suitcase (1986), Pamuk speaks about the fear of reading his father's writing: "For me, to be a writer is to acknowledge the secret wounds that we carry inside us, the wounds so secret that we ourselves are barely aware of them, and to patiently explore them, know them, illuminate them, to own these pins and wounds, and to make them a conscious part of our spirits and our writing."

Harold Pinter
In Art, Truth and Politics (2005), Pinter writes about hidden crimes and the challenges revealing the truth: "I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road.... Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, 'the American people'.... Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don't need to think."

Imre Kertész
In Heureka! (2002), Kertész reflects on the Hungarian dictatorship in the mid-20th century: "I understood that hope is an instrument of evil, and the Kantian categorical imperative--ethics in general--is but the pliable handmaiden of self-preservation.
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By Lynn L. Baccaro on January 4, 2009
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Wonderful quality and fast service from seller. My brother in law loves the New Yorker. This was suggested reading if you read that magazine. He was thrilled with it.
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