Since ancient times, China has been a country of poetry, a country of brilliant literature. In any era there are writers in large numbers, and they can "lead fashion for hundreds of years." , The accumulation and heritage from generation to generation has made Chinese people proud and confident in field of literature. In terms of scientific achievements, for many reasons, we must admit that modern West is more visible, but in field of literature, if they say that China is inferior to West, I believe that as long as Chinese with normal intelligence do not think so.
Over past 120 years, Chinese writers such as Lu Xun, Mao Dun, Shen Congwen, Xu Zhimo, Lin Yutang and others have appeared one after another, but so far only one pure Chinese writer has received a literary award. Is it incredible? This makes people think deeply, is it because Chinese writers are not strong enough, or is it an unspeakable "hidden rule"? As for this question, past winners of Nobel Prize in Literature, as well as number of awards in France, Germany, Sweden and other countries, may have revealed truth!
As of this year, a total of 118 people have received Nobel Prize in Literature, 4 of which were split between two people, and award has been suspended for 7 years. The purpose of Nobel Prizes is to honor those who have "made greatest contribution to humanity." The All Humanity award, but judging by winners, it looks more like a European and American award.
In 1901, Nobel Prize was awarded for first time, but for first 12 years literary prizes were divided between European and American writers. It was not until 1913 that first non-European writer appeared, Tagore from British India at time. However, moment of presenting Tagore Prize inevitably resembles situation before First World War. At that time, Germany was ambitious to challenge British hegemony, and Britain squeezed many troops in Europe to deal with Germany. A shining treasure, India, which has an empty military force, should not be lost. Therefore, Tagore received award at this moment time. Is this a British plan to pacify India? This association is not unfounded, because in next 100 years no Indian won a literary prize, and it took 30 years for a non-European writer to appear. In 1945, Chilean writer Gabriela Mistral received Prize for Literature, becoming second non-European writer to win prize. It was not until 1980s that number of literary awards won by non-European and American writers gradually increased.
Overall, over 100-year history of Nobel Prize in Literature, there have been over 10 non-European writers, less than a fraction of total. New this year is Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gulna (See picture below, moving to UK), while rest are European and American writers.
Among European and American award-winning writers, top four are France, UK, US and Germany, with a total of 52 awards, almost half of them.
In 1901, Nobel Prize was awarded for first time. French writer Sully Prudhomme received first literary prize. He was a poet. An idealist who represents art perfectly, with a rare combination of heart and intellect." France has won Nobel Prize in Literature 17 times since 1901 (including foreign naturalized persons, but they were French citizens when they were awarded), ranking first among all nations.
In terms of total number of awards, UK is second only to France (13 awards in total). However, unlike France, which received awards every few years, UK received awards about once every ten years before Second World War. This flared up again, for example, after World War II he won literary award three times in 1948, 1950 and 1953. , and because of his advocacy of noble "Brilliant Speech of Human Value", but it's unexpected that a politician who showed his selfishness to fullest during World War II is held in such high esteem.
The United States, like United Kingdom, has won a total of 13 times, but United States first won a literary prize in 1930. Before World War II, it was three times, and outbreak began after World War II. Second war. It is worth asking why US GDP surpassed that of UK in late 19th century to become number one in world. Why did they only receive award for first time in 1930, second year of economic crisis? ?
Germany won a total of eight times, but four of them were before First World War, and other four were in 1929, 1972, 1999 and 2009. Why did Germany receive this award four times before World War I and only four times in century after World War I? When it comes to history of Germany, which unleashed First World War, Second World War and ended in failure, truth is intriguing. there were unspeakable external factors.
In addition to these main European and American countries, there is also a special group, namely five Nordic countries, especially Sweden, which is most special among them. We all know that Nobel is Swedish and his literary prize is awarded by Swedish Academy of Literature. So how many literary prizes has Sweden received? The answer is incredible!
Sweden is one of five Nordic countries, with an area of about 450,000 square kilometers and a population of only 10.37 million people. It is not as big as a province in China. It is undoubtedly a small country in terms of population, but Sweden is "literally" a country. Giant", a total of eight people won literary award (one of which was shared by two Swedes), and three of them were intriguing.
In 1916, Swedish poet Werner Heidenstam received Literary Prize. The reason for award was "recognition of his important representative position in new era of Swedish literature". There are many countries on earth, and it cannot be said that figures who played an epochal role in "New Era of Literature" are endless, but they are definitely not in minority, such as Lu Xun and Hu Shi in common parlance. a movement with which we are most familiar, so awarding awards for such reasons may be contrary to original intent of Nobel Prize.
In 1931, Swedish poet Eric Axel Karlfelt won prize because "no one has ever doubted artistic value of his poetry." The reason Karl Felt is said to be intriguing is because he is first person to receive award since his death. Although Nobel did not speak about it, his testament tends to be given alive. Because too many great people have passed away, it is impossible to award them one by one. Therefore, Karl Felt Prize has attracted a lot of criticism.
In 1966, Swedish poet and playwright Nelly Sachs shared Literary Prize with Israeli writers "for outstanding lyrical and dramatic works that illuminate fate of Israel with power." As we all know, Israel is most powerful country in Middle East. Compared to fate of Israel, fate of neighboring countries seems more worthy of attention, but it is strange that attention to fate of Israel can bring rewards.
In addition to Sweden, four other Nordic countries have received literary prize: three times Norway, three times Denmark, once Finland and even Iceland, which is so sparsely populated that it has only 340,000 people. However, apart from Sweden, last time four other Nordic countries received award was in 1955.
Since modern times, many Chinese people have always respected Nobel Prize in Literature and have always regretted that Chinese did not receive it. But in fact, if you understand past history of Nobel Prize in Literature, you can understand that China has received few literary prizes. Although there are issues such as rules, language, and differences between Chinese and Western civilizations, rather be unspeakable "hidden rules" .