The expectation was high after, in 2018, the Nobel Prize for Literature was not awarded for the first time since 1949 due to the scandals of sexual abuse at the Swedish Academy and leaks at the end of 2017. For that reason, it was decided Defer the award until this year, which have been delivered two.
Among the names of authors and, above all, of authors who repeated most among the betting lists were Anne Carson, Margaret Atwood, Marysé Condé, Milan Kundera and even the Spanish Javier Marías. Finally, they have been Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke the winners.
In this way, the institution is committed to two European authors, against the popular desire to opt for less represented works in the canon, and has decided reward for the fifteenth time, in its more than one hundred years of history, a woman. At the same time, this has been the first time that two consecutive years have been awarded on the same day.
According to the jury's decision, Olga Tokarczuk has been awarded for his "narrative imagination" and "encyclopedic passion" at the time of writing, while Peter Handke have valued "an influential work" and with "linguistic ingenuity" that explores "the periphery of the human experience".
Olga Tokarczuk, Nobel Prize for Literature 2018
The Polish Olga Tokarczuck is known in her country for her activism against the rise of the extreme right. He began his professional career in the world of psychology, however, in the early nineties he moved to literature. He is currently 57 years old and, although he started as a poet, fame has been given his novels.
Author of eight novels and three books of stories, her works have been translated into thirty languages although only three of them have arrived to ours: A place called yesteryear, On the bones of the dead Y The Wanderers, which Anagrama will publish next November.
The latter was also deserving of the prestigious Man Booker International Award in 2018. It is, as the publisher describes, a novel that speaks "about the body, the world and the always insufficient strategies with which we try to map them".
A storybook that collects stories, some fictional, and some real like that of the heart of Chopin, who arrived in Poland hidden in his sister's petticoats; or that of anatomist Philip Verheyen, who wrote letters to his amputated and dissected leg. Letters also like the ones Josefine Soliman sent to the emperor of Austria to recover his father's body, dissected and exposed in the court where he had served while alive.
Peter Handke, Nobel Prize for Literature 2019
On the other hand, Peter Handke has been much more translated and is better known than his partner. Austrian by birth, in the nineties his stance in favor of Serbia in the Balkan War It led him to move to Paris, where he resides since then, because of a controversy.
In addition to novelist, playwright and poet, he has been a screenwriter. His work, extensive and varied, usually revolves around loneliness, difficulties in human communication and its consequences.
His most outstanding works are translated into Spanish, among them are Impeccable Misfortune, where he recreates his mother's life and suicide; Short letter for a long goodbye, in which he faces all the traumas and terrors of his Austrian childhood; Left-handed woman, where delves into the ins and outs of a couple's breakup or The year I spent in nobody's bay.
Although, the novel that catapulted him to fame in 1970 it was The fear of the goalkeeper in front of the penalty. A story that Its protagonist is Bloch, a former soccer goalkeeper, whose erratic and fragmentary perception, fueled by his isolation and the hostility of a world he does not understand, finally leads him to crime.
The novel adapted to the cinema of the hand from the German director Wim Wenders, with whom he has made several film projects.
Photos | Gtres, Alfaguara and Anagrama.
About The Bones of the Dead
The wanderers (Panorama of narratives nº 1016)
Impeccable Misfortune (The Pocket Book – Author Libraries – Handke Library)
Short letter for a long goodbye (The Pocket Book – Author Libraries – Handke Library)
The left-handed woman (The Pocket Book – Author Libraries – Handke Library)
The year I spent in nobody's bay (Literary Alliance (Al))
The goalkeeper's fear of the penalty (The Pocket Book – Author Libraries – Handke Library)