- Humanities blog - https://humanities.blogs.ie.edu -

Nobel prize for literature goes to Tomas Tranströmer

Swedish poet acclaimed for ‘condensed translucent images’ which give us ‘fresh access to reality’

The Swedish Academ [1]y has awarded the 2011 Nobel prize for literature [2] to one of its own: the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer.

Tranströmer becomes the eighth European to win the world’s premier literary award in the past 10 years, following the German novelist Herta Müller in 2009 [3], the French writer JMG le Clézio in 2008 [4] and the British novelist Doris Lessing in 2007 [5].

Sweden’s most famous poet becomes the 104th literature laureate, and is the first poet to take the laurels since Poland’s Wislawa Szymborska in 1996. Praised by the judges for his “condensed translucent images”, which give us “fresh access to reality”, Tranströmer’s surreal explorations of the inner world and its relation to the jagged landscape of his native country have been translated into more than 50 languages.

Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, admitted that the choice of a Swede could be seen as controversial internationally but said that it hadn’t happened for almost 40 years; in 1974, Swedish authors Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson took the prize jointly.

Continue reading in The Guardian [6]