“Tomas Tranströmer is one of the very few Swedish authors who have had an impact on world literature,” said professor Kjell Espmark during his speech to the nobel laureate in literature on Saturday.
Only an hour after completing the award ceremony in the Stockholm Concert Hall, about 1,300 guests were seated in the Blue Hall (Blå Salen) in Stockholm City Hall.
When the clock struck seven, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia descended the long stairs to take their seats.
However, it was Tranströmer who continued to receive the most attention during the evening. He didn’t however have to make the long walk down the stairs but due to health reasons joined the party with his wife Monica straight at the table.
It was also Monica who would deliver the acceptance speech in her husband’s place. She quoted her husband saying:
“Sick of all who come with words, words, but no language / I traveled to the snow covered island. / The wild has no words. / The unwritten pages spread out in every direction! / I come across the traces of roe deer hoofs in the snow. / Language but no words.”
Many eyes were also aimed at crown princess Victoria and her growing pregnant belly. She was seated next to physicist laureate Brian Schmidt.
Princess Madeleine was absent from the gala, having chosen to instead participate in festivities in New York held to honour the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie’s second Nobel Prize.
As usual, the flowers for the arrangements were collected from San Remo on the Italian riviera, where Alfred Nobel lived for several years and where he also passed away on December 10th, 1896.
The renowned guests enjoyed a three-hour-sitting to enjoy their three-course dinner, to be followed by dancing in the upstairs Golden Hall (Gyllene Salen).
On the menu, which was – as tradition dictates- kept secret until the last moment, lobster was served as the starter and guinea fowl as main course.
For dessert, the guests enjoyed a tangerine and white chocolate mousse o a cinnamon biscuit and topped with fresh raspberries.