Category Famous Nobel Laureates

Who was Ragnar Frisch?

          Ragnar Frisch was a Norwegian economist, and joint winner of the very first Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, along with Jan Tinbergen, for his research in econometrics.

          Frisch was born in Oslo on 3rd March 1895, as the son of a gold smith. He began his career as a gold and silver smith apprentice in order to work in the family business. He later became interested in economics, and studied the subject at Royal Frederick University.

          After graduating in 1919, he studied economics and mathematics abroad for several years. He received his Ph.D in mathematical statistics from the University of Oslo in 1926.

          In 1969, Ragnar Frisch, along with Dutch economist Jan Tinbergen, received the Nobel Prize for economics for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes.

          Frisch coined the term ‘econometrics’ for studies in which he used statistical methods to describe economic systems. In 1933, he presented the first mathematical economic model that could describe fluctuations in the business cycle. He died in 1973.

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What made Octavio Paz a prominent Nobel laureate?

          The Mexican poet and diplomat Octavio Paz was born on 31st March 1914, in Mexico City into a prominent family with ties to Mexico’s political, cultural, and military elite. For his body of work, he was awarded the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature.

          Under the encouragement of Pablo Neruda, Paz began his poetic career in his teens. In 1933, he published his first book of poems, ‘Luna Silvestre’.

          A prolific author and poet, Paz published scores of beyond the borders works during his lifetime, many of which have been translated into other languages.

          In 1962, he was named Mexico’s ambassador to India. Paz completed several works, including ‘O Mono Gramatico’ and ‘Ladera Este’, while in India.

          He even wrote an essay ‘In Light of India’, which was based on a lecture given at the invitation of Rajiv Gandhi in 1985.Through this work; he established how similar India and Mexico are. He died on 19th April, 1998.

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Who was Claude Simon?



          The famous French novelist and critic Claude Simon’s major novels include ‘The Wind’, ‘The Grass’, and ‘The Flanders Road’. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1985.

          Claude Simon was born on 10th October 1913 in Madagascar. The son of a cavalry officer who was killed in World War I, Simon was raised by his mother in Perpignan, France. After secondary school at College Stanislas in Paris, and brief sojourns at Oxford and Cambridge, he took courses in painting at the Andre Lhote Academy. He then travelled extensively through Spain, Germany, the Soviet Union, Italy and Greece. Later, he fought in World War II, and later earned a living producing wine.

          Simon is often identified with the French literary movement that emerged during the 1950s. War is a constant and central theme of most of his works. The University of East Anglia awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1973. Claude Simon died on 6th July, 2005, France.

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What made William Golding a popular Nobel laureate?

          Sir William Golding was born on September 19th, 1911. He won the Nobel Prize for literature for his parables of the human condition in 1983. He attracted a cult of followers, especially among the youth of the post-World War II generation.

          Golding’s first published novel was ‘Lord of the Flies’, the story of a group of schoolboys isolated on a coral island who revert to savagery.

          ‘The Inheritors’, set in the last days of Neanderthal man, is another story of the essential violence and depravity of human nature.

          He was also awarded the Booker Prize for fiction in 1980 for his novel ‘Rites of Passage’, the first book in what became his sea trilogy, ‘To the Ends of the Earth’.

          His later works include ‘Close Quarters’, ‘The Hot Gates’, ‘The Brass Butterfly’, ‘A Moving Target’, and ‘Fire Down Below’.

          William Golding was knighted in 1988. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Golding died on 19th June, 1993 in England.

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Why is Gabriel Garcia Marquez prominent among the Nobel laureates?

          Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a Latin American writer who gained worldwide readership with his brand of ‘magical realism’. He illuminated the unique style of conventional storytelling with vivid fantasy.

          Marquez was born in 1927 in the small town of Aracataca, in Colombia. He is indisputably one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

          He was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and the 1982 Nobel Prize in literature. Garcia Marquez began his career as a journalist, and became a renowned one too.

          Marquez was just 19-years-old when his first novel ‘Leaf Storm’ was published. His most famous works are ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, ‘The Autumn of the Patriarch’, and ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’. Among them, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, is considered as a masterpiece of magical realism.

          He died on 17th April, 2014 in Mexico.

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Why is Pablo Neruda a great poet?

          Born Ricardo Eliecer Neftali Reyes Basoalto in the town of Parral in Southern Chile on 12th July 1904, Pablo Neruda led a life charged with poetic and political activity. Neruda was the most important Latin American poet of the 20th century. He won Nobel Prize in Literature in the year 1971.

          His mother Rosa Basoalto died within two month of Neruda’s birth. His father always discouraged him from writing. This became the main reason why the young poet began to publish under the pseudonym Pablo Neruda.

          In 1923, he sold all of his possessions to finance the publication of his first book, ‘Book of Twilight’. When he was just 20-years-old, his poetry collection ‘Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair’ made him a household name in Latin America.

          In 1927, Neruda began his long career as a diplomat in the Latin American tradition of honouring poets with diplomatic assignments. He served as Ambassador to France.

          He died on 23rd September 1973.

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Why Samuel Beckett is considered a legendary figure?

          Samuel Beckett was a renowned Irish author, critic, playwright, and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. He wrote in both French and English. He was born on a Good Friday on 13th April 1906, in Ireland.

          In 1928, Samuel Beckett moved to Paris, and the city quickly won his heart. During World War II, Beckett was living in Paris. He joined the underground movement, and fought for the resistance until 1942. He was forced to flee with his French-born wife to the unoccupied zone. In 1945, after the liberation, he began his most prolific period as a writer.

          He authored ‘Eleutheria’, ‘Waiting for Godot’, ‘Endgame’, the novels ‘Molloy’, ‘Malone Dies’, ‘The Unnameable’, and ‘Mercier and Camier’, two books of short stories, and a book of criticism. His experiences during World War II – insecurity, exile, hunger – came to shape his writing.

          In his most famous work, ‘Waiting for Godot’, he examines the most basic foundations of our lives with strikingly dark humour. Beckett died on 22nd December, 1989.

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Why was the life and work of Boris Pasternak, the Nobel laureate, unique?

          The Nobel Prize in Literature 1958 was awarded to Boris Pasternak for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the Great Russian epic tradition.

          Boris Pasternak was born in Moscow on 10th February, 1890. His father was an artist and professor, and his mother was a concert pianist.

          Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958, an event which both humiliated and enraged the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. His novel ‘Doctor Zhivago’ helped him win the Nobel Prize. He accepted the prize initially, but he was forced by the authorities of his country to decline the prize. Later,   his descendants were to accept it in his name in 1988.

          His most important works are ‘Twin in the Clouds’, ‘Over the Barriers’, ‘On Early Trains’, ‘Poems’, ‘Themes and Variations’, ‘Safe Conduct’, ‘Second Birth’, and ‘Doctor Zhivago’. Pasternak’s translations of stage plays by Goethe, Schiller, Calderon de la Barca and Shakespeare remain very popular with Russian audiences.

          Outside Russia, Pasternak is best known as the author of ‘Doctor Zhivago’.

          Boris Pasternak died on 30th May, 1960.

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Why is Albert Camus a prominent Nobel laureate?

          Albert Camus was a French-Algerian playwright, novelist, and Nobel laureate. Camus was a representative of non-metropolitan French literature.

          Camus was born on 7th November 1913, in French Algeria. He studied at the University of Algiers.

          While living in occupied France during World War II, he became active in the Resistance movement. He was a very active theatre producer and playwright.

          By mid-century, he became a renowned writer, and had a worldwide readership. His three most important novels are ‘The Stranger’, ‘The Plague’, and ‘The Fall’. He authored two book-length philosophical essays ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’, and ‘The Rebel’, which received much appreciation too. He was often credited as being a proponent of existentialism.

          He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957 for his literary production, which illuminates the problems of the human conscience. Camus died on 4th January 1960, in a car accident.

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Who was William Faulkner?

            William Faulkner was a major American writer of the twentieth century. His imaginative power, and the psychological depth of his works, ranks him as one of America’s greatest novelists. He received the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to modern American literature.

            He joined the Canadian, and later, the British, Royal Air Force during the First World War. During the early 1920s, Faulkner wrote poetry and fiction. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories.

            Though Faulkner is one of the most celebrated writers in American literature generally, he was relatively unknown until he was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature.

            William Faulkner received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1950. Faulkner donated his Nobel winnings, to establish a fund to support and encourage new fiction writers, eventually resulting in the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Faulkner died of heart attack on 6th July 1962, at the age of 64.

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