15

Because the Nobel committee felt his writing expressed "universal human conditions". According to the official Nobel Prize website: The Nobel Prize in Literature 1978 was awarded to Isaac Bashevis Singer "for his impassioned narrative art which, with roots in a Polish-Jewish cultural tradition, brings universal human conditions to life". Although Singer'...


11

Alfred Nobel's will states that [Priset] [...] för litteratur [utdelas] af Akademien i Stockholm[...] or, in English The award for Literature shall be awarded by the Academy in Stockholm All the awards are granted by academies based in Stockholm, except for the peace prize, which is awarded by a five-member committee chosen by the Parliament of ...


8

In what ways do the winners of these three awards differ? These three awards are very different, and it's rare that an author collects more than one of the three. The most obvious difference is the Nobel Laureate is a person, whereas the winners of the National Book Awards (NBA) and the Booker Prize are literary works (although the NBA introduced a lifetime ...


8

I think there were several factors here, though of course we don't know all of them. Not really niche Firstly, I'd like to address the point of audience. While you say The audience of his brilliant books are Jews, old Jews, Judeophiles and maybe 1% just randoms In fact, he also wrote English translations of a lot of his works which were of course ...


5

TLDR: Contrary to the OP's assumptions, being nominated for a Nobel Prize and being shortlisted for one are two quite different things. We know some of the nominees for Nobel Prizes because their nominators tell people about it; the Nobel Prize Foundation does not require them to stay silent. Information about the shortlist is not released until fifty years ...


4

The records of the discussions of the Swedish Academy are kept secret for 50 years, meaning that as of the time I'm writing this, the last laureates for which we actually have any real insight into the discussion that took place prior to the awards are Nelly Sachs and Samuel Josef Agnon, who shared the prize in 1966. For later laureates, we basically have ...


4

Just to add a subtly here, "encyclopedic knowledge" doesn't just refer to vast knowledge, it refers to comprehensive knowledge. (You could have lots of knowledge about a very narrow topic, but that would not usually be referred to as "encyclopedic" knowledge). In other words, it's not just just the quantity of knowledge, it's also breadth of knowledge - i.e. ...


3

Narratives come in many shapes/forms/sizes. It’s fairly common for a book to be written (mostly) linearly. It’s also common for an author to stick with a specific set of related characters. (See books such as the Harry Potter series.) Tokarczuk’s Flights is written more as a constellation: smaller segments that make up the whole like individual stars make ...


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