Jon Fosse, a Norwegian writer, is awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature

Jon Fosse, a Norwegian writer, is awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature

The Swedish Academy has declared Norwegian novelist and playwright Jon Fosse as the Nobel Prize laureate in literature. The award recognizes his works that give expression to the unspoken.

Fosse’s magnum opus, the “Septology” comprising three books, was completed in 2021. In this masterpiece, an elderly artist engages in a dialogue with himself as another person over seven days. In a New Yorker profile by critic Merve Emre, Fosse’s writing is described as a communion with a writer whose subtle presence intensifies due to his reserved demeanor. “Septology” is hailed as a novel that evokes belief in the divine.

“Septology,” translated by Damion Searls, was published as a single volume by the California-based publisher Transit Books in 2022, having previously appeared in three separate volumes: “The Other Name,” “I Is Another,” and “A New Name.” “A New Name” earned recognition as a finalist for the National Book Award for translated literature and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Transit Books is set to release Fosse’s upcoming novel, “A Shining,” translated by Searls, later this month.

Born in 1959 on the Norwegian west coast, Fosse’s extensive body of work encompasses a variety of genres, including plays, novels, poetry collections, essays, translations, and children’s books.

The Nobel Prize in literature, conferred by the 18 judges constituting the Swedish Academy, honors the entirety of a writer’s oeuvre rather than a single work. It adheres to Alfred Nobel’s will, which stipulated that the prize should be awarded to those who have made the most outstanding contributions to literature in an ideal direction. The laureate is granted 11 million Swedish kronor, equivalent to nearly one million dollars.

The previous year’s Nobel Prize in literature was bestowed upon French writer Annie Ernaux, celebrated for her courageous and clinically astute exploration of personal memory’s roots, estrangements, and societal constraints. Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah received the Nobel in literature in 2021, and American poet Louise Glück was honored in 2020.

Earlier this week, Nobel winners in physics, medicine, and chemistry were announced. Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman were recognized with the Nobel in medicine for their pioneering research on messenger RNA, instrumental in the development of Covid vaccines. The Nobel Peace Prize is set to be awarded on Friday, followed by the Nobel Prize in economics on October 9. All 2023 laureates are invited to an awards ceremony scheduled for December 10, commemorating Alfred Nobel’s passing.

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