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Nobel Literature Prize awarded to Norwegian Jon Fosse

Jon Fosse, the Norwegian author and dramatist, has been awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature for his groundbreaking plays and prose that give voice to the unspoken. The prize, valued at 11 million Swedish crowns (approximately $1 million), is presented by the Swedish Academy.

Established in the will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Prizes have celebrated achievements in literature, science, and peace since 1901, standing as a pinnacle of recognition in their respective fields. The literature prize, in particular, has often attracted significant attention and debate, thrusting lesser-known authors onto the global stage while boosting sales for established literary giants.

Over the years, the literature prize has been awarded to a diverse range of recipients beyond novelists, including playwrights, historians, philosophers, and poets, even making history with Bob Dylan’s win in 2016.

Jon Fosse, a 64-year-old Norwegian playwright, novelist, and poet, expressed his feelings following the announcement, describing the award as both overwhelming and intimidating. He views it as a recognition of the “new Norwegian” language he writes in, which represents a minority, and the movement promoting it. This language, used by only about 10% of Norway’s population, was developed in the 19th century based on rural dialects, offering an alternative to the dominant use of Danish after a 400-year union with Denmark.

In addition to his numerous plays, Fosse has authored novels, essays, poetry collections, and children’s books over a span of four decades. His work has been translated into more than 40 languages, with over 1,000 different productions of his plays, according to his publisher.

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