• Sweden's news in English

Swedish poet awarded 2011 Literature Nobel

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 6 Oct 2011, 12:39

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"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.

Story continues below…

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.
Today's headlines
Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available