Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Kenyatta heads to International Criminal Court

07 October 2014, 11:35

Stockholm - Amid fevered speculation over who gets the Nobel literature prize this year, punters and experts are considering language, geography, genre and even age to try and pin down the winner.

As Stockholm's literary circles try to draw up an "identikit" of the successor of last year's winner, Canadian Alice Munro, several much-cited names were considered to be in the running.

They range from Japan's Haruki Murakami via Adonis from Syria to Kenyan Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Czech-born Milan Kundera, but no one stands out as a favourite.

"Of course we have some ideas, but they are just speculation," Stockholm-based bookseller Mats Olin told AFP.

The name of this year's laureate will be made public on Thursday, 9 October, at 11:00 GMT.

In Stockholm or elsewhere, nobody really knows how the Swedish Academy - which chooses the winner - comes to its decision.

Secretive deliberations

The deliberations take place behind closed doors and are only made public 50 years later.

What is known is that every year, the academy makes a list in February with all the nominations it has received - 210 this time around - which is then cut down to five names in May.

Also Read: ICC urged to probe Australian envoy's Boko Haram allegation

In order to make a guess, everybody tries to figure out the logic behind the secretive deliberations of the members of the academy.

First, language can be a hint. English-speaking authors have won 27 times, compared to 13 times for French and German-speaking writers each.

Claes Wahlin, a critic at Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, said that it is "really very rare that the academy rewards the same language two years in a row", which might exclude English after Munro's award in 2013.

If the same language is chosen again, he said, "it must be in two parts of the world that are very distant". That would rule out US authors Joyce Carol Oates and Canada's Anne Carson, who are recurring names in speculations.

But then on the other hand, according to Elise Karlsson, critic at Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagblad: "Nothing would be more surprising than choosing two Canadians in a row. And the academy likes surprising."

Geography could matter

Geography could also be a good criterion.

"It shouldn't take long before Africa is rewarded," publisher Elisabeth Grate said.

African authors have only won four times in the prize's history. The most recent one was South Africa's John M Coetzee, in 2003.

Ngugi wa Thiong'o, from Kenya, is a likely winner, if the award does not go to Somalia's Nuruddin Farah. He is the type of writer the academy likes, according to Wahlin.

Genre could also be a clue. "With Munro, they also rewarded the art of writing short stories, just like they recognised oral narrative with Dario Fo," he said.

Novelists are overrepresented on the laureate list, which could favour playwrights or poets such as Syria's Adonis, France's Yves Bonnefoy or South Korea's Ko Un.

Also Read: ICCN launches uniform rules for banks

But the academy could also reward non-fiction and choose Belarussian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, said Karlsson.

Finally, the prize could go to a particularly elderly author, before it is too late.

"When they gave the prize to [Harold] Pinter and [Tomas] Transtroemer, it was partially about that," said Wahlin. This argument could benefit Milan Kundera.

Haruki Murakami of Japan is a favourite of online punters but less popular among experts.

"Murakami is probably a readers' favourite and certainly popular with many journalists but he lacks that extra depth," said Karlsson.

"The laureates must be able to transmit strong emotions, their writing must not only be entertaining, it must above all transmit a message that makes the reader think, see existence in a different way," said Grate.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...