Monday, October 17, 2011

Tomas Transtromer wins Nobel Prize in Literature 2011


Poet Tomas Tranströmer, 80, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on October 6, 2011, for a body of work that began with his 17 Poems, published in 1954 when he was just 23, and continues to this day. In its statement announcing the prize, the Swedish Academy said of Tranströmer: “…through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality.” And it said, “Most of Tranströmer’s poetry collections are characterized by economy, concreteness and poignant metaphors. In his latest collections, Sorgegondolen (1996; The Sorrow Gondola, 1997) and Den stora gatan (2004; The Great Enigma, 2006), Transtromer has shifted towards an even smaller format and a higher degree of concentration." With this announcement, Tranströmer becomes the seventh writer working in Swedish to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He joins Selma Lagerlöf (1909), Verner von Heidenstam (1916), Erik Axel Karlfeldt (1931), Pär Lagerkvist (1951), Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinsson (1974, shared prize).

The official award ceremony will be held December 10 at the Stockholm Concert Hall. The award includes a prize of SEK 10 million (approximately $1.45 million). Reading Tranströmer Although he’s widely known and read in Sweden – and he’s been short-listed for the Nobel Prize since 1993 – Tomas Tranströmer and his work might be new to readers in the United States. That will change as several books of his collected works translated into English will be released or reissued in the coming months. Among his works available in English are: The Great Enigma: New and Collected Poems For the Living and the Dead: A Memoir in Poems The Sorrow Gondola Selected Poems (1954-1986) The Half-finished Heaven The Deleted World Or you can begin with his poem ”The House of Headache,” published in The New Yorker magazine’s October 17, 2011, issue. For the Swedish Academy’s full biography and bibliography of Tomas Tranströmer: For more on the Nobel Prize in Literature:

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