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Nobel Prize for Literature: Why Winston Churchill won

October 10, 2013 15:15 IST

Fun facts about Nobel Prize for Literature

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Let's take a look at some lesser known facts related to the distinguished authors who have won the Nobel Prize in literature...

The maximum number of awards -- 26 -- have been won by authors writing in English. French and German authors, with 13 awards each, have been awarded the second highest number of Nobel Prizes.

Incidentally, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1953 in two categories -- peace and literature. He finally won the Nobel Prize for literature for 'his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values'.

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Image: Winston Churchill
Photographs: Courtesy: http://nobelprize.org

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Fun facts about Nobel Prize for Literature

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Rudyard Kipling, author of the The Jungle Book, was the youngest recipient of the award. He was only 42 years old when he received the award in 1907.

The Nobel Prize was awarded to Kipling 'in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author'.

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Image: Rudyard Kipling
Photographs: Courtesy: http://nobelprize.org

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Fun facts about Nobel Prize for Literature

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Doris Lessing, who won the Nobel in 2007, was the oldest author to do so. The British author was 88 years old when she won the Nobel Prize.

She was described by the Swedish Academy as 'that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny'.

Only 12 female authors have won the Nobel Prize in literature so far. They include illustrious names like Toni Morrison, Pearl Buck, Nadine Gordimer and, of course, Lessing.

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Image: Doris Lessing
Photographs: Courtesy: http://nobelprize.org

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Fun facts about Nobel Prize for Literature

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Only two people have declined the Nobel Prize in literature so far.

Boris Pasternak, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1958, accepted the award initially. But the authorities in Soviet Union made the Russian author give up the Nobel Prize.

Jean Paul Sartre, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1964, declined the prize because he had 'consistently declined all official honours.'

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Image: Jean Paul Sartre
Photographs: Courtesy: http://nobelprize.org

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Fun facts about Nobel Prize for Literature

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Till date, 102 Nobel Prizes have been awarded in literature. But no awards were given for seven years: 1914, 1918, 1935, 1940, 1941, 1942, and 1943.

Why? Because the Nobel Foundation clearly states, 'If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation's restricted funds.'

Incidentally, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, exactly a 100 years ago.

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Image: Rabindranath Tagore
Photographs: Courtesy: http://nobelprize.org

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