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Swedish poet awarded 2011 Literature Nobel

Swedish poet awarded 2011 Literature Nobel

Published: 06 Oct 2011 12:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Oct 2011 12:39 GMT+02:00

"Through his condensed, transluscent images, he gives us fresh access to reality," read the citation from the Swedish Academy.

Tranströmer becomes the first Swede in almost 40 years to win the prestigious prize.

The 80-year-old Swede from Stockholm began his serious writing career in 1954 when he published "17 dikter" (17 poems) – one of the most acclaimed literary debuts of the decade.

Predominant in his work are themes of nature and music and he followed up "17 dikter" with a slew of collections in the 1950s and 1960s, including: "Hemligheter på vägen" (1958; Secrets along the way), "Den halvfärdiga himlen" (1962; The Half-Finished Heaven, 2001) and "Klanger och spår" (1966; Windows & Stones : Selected Poems, 1972).

With "Windows & Stones : Selected Poems", published in English in 1972, he consolidated his standing among critics and other readers as one of the leading poets of his generation, according to the Swedish Academy biography.

A significant amount of his work has been translated into English and other languages including "The Sorrow Gondola" and "New Collected Poems", published in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Tranströmer suffered a stroke in 1990 which impaired his speech, but he continues to write. He has been mentioned several times in the past as a candidate for the Nobel prize and was also tipped as one of the favourites this year.

Aside from his work as a writer, Tranströmer was also respected for his work as a psychologist prior to suffering his stroke, working in juvenile prisons and with drug addicts and convicts.

Tomas Tranströmer is the first Swedish writer since Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson, who shared the prize in 1974, to claim the Nobel.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:22 October 6, 2011 by rybo1
I've never read his works, but good for him. I will try and see if he has any works in English.
13:53 October 6, 2011 by Value
Wonderful! Congratulations!!! I can be even more proud about having got his autograph a few years ago. It was really high time to award him the Nobel Prize. He lives in a wheelchair after having had a stroke.
22:42 October 6, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
A real happy-go-lucky kind of guy (by his picture!)
23:13 October 6, 2011 by Gabin
la lucidité enfin.
18:32 October 7, 2011 by TerryONeillEsq
I first read his work in Robert Bly's English translations in 1975. I was so taken with his beautiful work that I took a course in conversational Swedish so I could read him in the original. Those lessons came in handy as I had the opportunity to meet Her Majesty Queen Silvia in Washington last year. Still haven't met Tomas.
00:23 October 8, 2011 by Catarin
Congratulations to Mr. Transtromer and Sweden!

I look forward to reading his work.
10:45 October 8, 2011 by OUIJA
Again. I believe that there were better candidates. I do not like his poetry, or must I like it for my comment to be accepted in this

What is wrong with you people at The Local. Must we comment in the way you want us to comment? Or can we comment in our way. You decide.
20:59 October 8, 2011 by tonylaz
I know nothing of Mr. Transtromer or his poetry so my comment is very narrowly directed at the Nobel awards. With awards to people like Yasser Arafat, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama, the Nobel awards have become a joke in America. Not among the "press" who clamor for anything that doesn't make sense, but among the population who follow these things.
12:38 October 9, 2011 by OUIJA
Next year's prize will go to Juholt. He has proven to be quite a story teller in the specialty of cience-fiction.
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