Wednesday, October 04, 2023

On lists of writers who did not win the Nobel Prize – and the case of Franz Kafka

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2023 will be announced tomorrow, and commentators will again write lists of all the great writers who never won the prize. While many of those writers, such as Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) and Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) lived long lives and were famous before their deaths made them ineligible for the prize, and others, such as Marcel Proust (1871-1922) and James Joyce (1882-1941), died before the Swedish Academy got to them, one name should never appear on such lists: Franz Kafka (1883-1924). When Kafka died, his novels were unfinished, his published writings came to about 350 pages, and his work was known only to German-speaking insiders. (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 4 October 2023) 

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