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Thread: Patrick Modiano wins the Nobel prize in literature

  1. #1
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Default Patrick Modiano wins the Nobel prize in literature

    this is great news. he's one of my favourite authors and one of the masters of the french language. he writes such complex and gorgeous books, about seemingly heavy topics that never feel dense, and with such a beautiful economy of words that you expect from poets but less so from a novelist.


    --------------------


    Patrick Modiano wins the Nobel prize in literature


    Novelist is 11th French writer to win prestigious award

    Thursday 9 October 2014 07.39 EDT




    French novelist Patrick Modiano. Photograph: AP
    Patrick Modiano has been named the 107th winner of the Nobel prize for literature.
    The 69-year-old is the 11th French writer to win the prestigious prize, worth 8 million kronor ($1.1 million or £700,000).
    His name was announced at a short ceremony in Stockholm with Peter Englund, the Nobel Academy’s permanent secretary, reading a citation which said Modiano won: “For the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”
    Modiano is well known in France but something of an unknown quantity for even the most widely read people in other countries. His best known novel is probably Missing Person, which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1978 and is about a detective who loses his memory and endeavours to find it.
    Modiano was born in a west Paris suburb two months after the second world war ended in Europe in July 1945.
    His father was of Jewish Italian origins and met his Belgian actress mother during the occupation of Paris and his beginnings have strongly influenced his writing.
    Jewishness, the Nazi occupation and loss of identity are recurrent themes in his novels, which include 1968’s La Place de l’Etoile – later hailed in Germany as a key post-Holocaust work.
    Modiano owes his first big break to a friendship with a friend of his mother, French writer Raymond Queneau, who was first introduced him to the Gallimard publishing house when he was in his early twenties.
    Modiano, who lives in Paris, is known to shun media, and rarely accords interviews. In 2012, he won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature.
    Englund said: “Patrick Modiano is a well-known name in France but not anywhere else. He writes children’s books, movie scripts but mainly novels. His themes are memory, identity and time.
    “His best known work is called Missing Person. It’s the story about a detective who has lost his memory and his final case is finding out who he really is; he is tracing his own steps through history to find out who he is.”
    He added: “They are small books, 130, 150 pages, which are always variations of the same theme - memory, loss, identity, seeking. Those are his important themes: memory, identity, and time.”
    Modiano’s win was not a total surprise, with Ladbrokes quoting odds of 10/1 for him earlier this week, fourth favourite behind the Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o (7/2), the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami (4/1) and the Belarussian journalist Svetlana Aleksijevitj.
    The winner is chosen by an academy consisting of 18 prominent Swedish literary figures. This year 210 nominations were received 36 of which were first timers. That then became a 20-name longlist and then a five-name shortlist.
    Last year’s award went to the Canadian short story writer Alice Munro.

    The Nobel announcements have been going on all week, and will conclude with the Nobel peace prize and Nobel prize for economics on Friday and Monday respectively.

    On Wednesday Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, William Moerner of Stanford University in California, and Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia won the chemistry prize “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”.

    On Tuesday Shuji Nakamura of the University of California, Santa Barbara, shared the physics prize with Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan for “the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”.

    And on Monday, British-US scientist John O’Keefe and married couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser from Norway won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for discovering the brain’s “inner GPS”.

    Worth 8m kronor each, the Nobel prizes are always handed out on 10 December, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896. Besides the prize money, each laureate receives a diploma and a gold medal.

    Nobel, a wealthy Swedish industrialist who invented dynamite, provided few directions for how to select winners, except that the prize committees should reward those who “have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind”.


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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Interesting. Any recommended reading?

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Glad it wasn't Murakami.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisNine View Post
    Interesting. Any recommended reading?
    my favourites are 'rue des boutiques obscures' (english title: 'missing person'), 'la ronde de nuit' ('night rounds'), 'les boulevards de ceinture' ('ring roads') and i quite like 'dans le café de la jeunesse perdue' though it's probably not one of his best books but it's lovely. 'livret de famille' is beautiful too, i can't find the title in english.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    my favourites are 'rue des boutiques obscures' (english title: 'missing person'), 'la ronde de nuit' ('night rounds'), 'les boulevards de ceinture' ('ring roads') and i quite like 'dans le café de la jeunesse perdue' though it's probably not one of his best books but it's lovely. 'livret de famille' is beautiful too, i can't find the title in english.
    Thanks. I always like reading something new and something I probably wouldn't have chosen on my own.
    sputnik likes this.

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