Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk says he is “about to enter Nobel depression”. Drawing attention to the demands that go with upholding a 105 year-old tradition, Pamuk said, “I now understand the significance of being a Nobel Prize winner. People want to touch me wherever they see me purely because I am a Nobel Prize winner. I am starting to see myself as a holy person”. Over breakfast at the Grand Hotel, Pamuk said the Nobel victory has left him with mixed emotions. These are “the most difficult yet enjoyable times in my life. But I miss going on holiday. I hope this Nobel depression will stop here. It would not be easy to cope with this lifestyle forever”, Pamuk said.
Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel literature prize today, for his multitude of works that deal with the symbols of clashing cultures. The Swedish Academy said that the 54-year-old Istanbul-born Pamuk “in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures”.
In its citation, the academy said that “Pamuk has said that growing up, he experienced a shift from a traditional Ottoman family environment to a more Western-oriented lifestyle. He wrote about this in his first published novel, a family chronicle … which in the spirit of Thomas Mann follows the development of a family over three generations.”
“Pamuk’s international breakthrough came with his third novel, The White Castle. It is structured as an historical novel set in 17th-century Istanbul, but its content is primarily a story about how our ego builds on stories and fictions of different sorts. Personality is shown to be a variable construction,” the academy said.
In winning the prize, Pamuk will have his name catapulted onto the global stage, see out-of-print works returned into circulation and a sales boost. He will also receive a 10 million kronor ($A1.86 million) cheque, a gold medal and diploma, and an invitation to a lavish banquet in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the death of prize founder Alfred Nobel. Last year’s winner was British playwright Harold Pinter, a vociferous critic of US foreign policy. That award triggered accusations that the Swedish Academy was anti-American, left-leaning and politically motivated.
Winners of the Nobel Prize in literature since 1960:
– 2006: Orhan Pamuk, Turkey
– 2005: Harold Pinter, Britain.
– 2004: Elfriede Jelinek, Austria.
– 2003: J.M. Coetzee, South Africa.
– 2002: Imre Kertesz, Hungary.
– 2001: V.S. Naipaul, Trinidad-born Briton.
– 2000: Gao Xingjian, Chinese-born French.
– 1999: Guenter Grass, Germany.
– 1998: Jose Saramago, Portugal.
– 1997: Dario Fo, Italy.
– 1996: Wislawa Szymborska, Poland.
– 1995: Seamus Heaney, Ireland.
– 1994: Kenzaburo Oe, Japan.
– 1993: Toni Morrison, United States.
– 1992: Derek Walcott, St. Lucia.
– 1991: Nadine Gordimer, South Africa.
– 1990: Octavio Paz, Mexico.
– 1989: Camilo Jose Cela, Spain.
– 1988: Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt.
– 1987: Joseph Brodsky, Russian-born American.
– 1986: Wole Soyinka, Nigeria.
– 1985: Claude Simon, France.
– 1984: Jaroslav Seifert, Czechoslovakia.
– 1983: William Golding, Britain.
– 1982: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia.
– 1981: Elias Canetti, Bulgarian-born Briton.
– 1980: Czeslaw Milosz, Polish-born American.
– 1979: Odysseus Elytis, Greece.
– 1978: Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish-born American.
– 1977: Vicente Aleixandre, Spain.
– 1976: Saul Bellow, Canadian-born American.
– 1975: Eugenio Montale, Italy.
– 1974: Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson, Sweden.
– 1973: Patrick White, British-born Australian.
– 1972: Heinrich Boell, West Germany.
– 1971: Pablo Neruda, Chile.
– 1970: Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russia.
– 1969: Samuel Beckett, Ireland.
– 1968: Yasunari Kawabata, Japan.
– 1967: Miguel A. Asturias, Guatemala.
– 1966: Shmuel Y. Agnon, Polish-born Israeli, and Nelly Sachs, German-born Swede.
– 1965: Mikhail Sholokhov, Russia.
– 1964: Jean-Paul Sartre, France (declined award).
– 1963: Giorgos Seferis, Turkish-born Greek.
– 1962: John Steinbeck, United States.
– 1961: Ivo Andric, Yugoslavia.
– 1960: Saint-John Perse, Guadeloupe-born French.