The Nobel Prize for Literature to Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke: after 69 years two were awarded simultaneously

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The Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk and the Austrian Peter Handke: they are the winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, for the 2018 and 2019 . In the year of the double Nobel they are two unsuspected to win the maximum recognition for their literary work. In particular, Olga Tokarczuk was awarded – this is the motivation – for her “narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of borders near life form” but also for having built her novels “with a tension between opposite cultural aspects : nature versus culture, reason versus madness, men versus women “. While to Peter Handke the Nobel was awarded “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of the human experience”. earn Born in Sulechów, western Poland, 29 January of 1962, Olga Tokarczuk has studied psychology in Warsaw. A writer and poet among the most express at home, she has been translated into thirty countries. With the novel I vagabondi, published in Italy by Bompiani, she was awarded the Man Booker Global Prize 2018 and was a finalist in the Nationwide Guide Award, winning the international consecration. Author of various collections of poems and various novels, among her works published in Italy we remember Guide your cart on the bones of the dead (Nottetempo) and In the quiet of time, with which it won one of the most prestigious Polish awards, the Prize of Koscielski Foundation. Instead Peter Handke, who received the Nobel Prize for 2019, is known for various and provocative theatrical successes (Insults to the public, 1966; Kaspar, 1968) and for some novels (Short letter of the long goodbye, 1972; Unhappiness without desires, 1972, dedicated to the untimely death of his mother; La donna mancina, 1976), which made him one of the most important contemporary authors. Born in Griffen, Carinthia, December 6 1942, Handke lives today in Chaville, near Paris. In addition to the many novels, essays and theatrical texts (most of which have been translated in Italy since the 1970s), Handke signed the screenplay for some movies with director Wim Wenders, most notably Il cielo sopra Berlino (1987). Among the various awards received so far, Peter Handke in 2009 was also awarded the Franz Kafka Prize. Yet in the 2014 own Handke, on the occasion of the awarding of the Nobel prize for literature to the French Patrick Modiano, after having given great compliments to his colleague, he expressed himself with very harsh words against the Nobel and indicated instead to abolish it. “Modiano is indeed a remarkable author with a unique work,” he said, adding that the recognition, with his “false canonization” of literature, does not bring anything good: “The Nobel Prize should finally be abolished,” he said, because he brings “a moment of attention, in the pages of the newspapers”, but for reading it brings nothing. Handke had admitted that having been included in the list of Nobel candidates had not left him indifferent: “Of course he takes you, he annoys you, and then you annoy yourself because you think about it: it is something so unworthy and at the same time yes becomes unworthy for a while “. The Polish writer learned the news of the Nobel victory while driving in Germany where she is involved in a series of conferences. Peter Handke was instead reached by the news in his home: both winners are expected at the award ceremony of the 10 December in Stockholm. The decision to award two Nobel Prize winners in just one year (the only precedent in 1950) came after the scandal of harassment that struck in 2018 the husband of a juror of the Academy of Sweden, the photographer and director Jean Claude Arnault. The recognition was therefore suspended and postponed last year to this year.              “The Republic will always fight in defense of freedom of information, for its readers and for all those who care about the principles of democracy and civil society”         Carlo Verdelli         SUBSCRIBE TO REPUBLIC      
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