French author Annie Ernaux on Thursday became the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2022. On the same day, a committee member also explained how a Noble laureate is chosen and the process of the same.
Hours before the big reveal, Ellen Mattson, a Swedish novelist, addressed key questions in a video on the Nobel Prize social media handles. In the video, she said, "There is a system for nominations. Otherwise, it'll be overwhelming. There are people all over the world who are entitled to nominate. These are scholars, critics, spokespersons for literary organisations, and other academics. Previous laureates can nominate and, of course, the members of the Swedish Academy."
How are Noble Prize winners selected?
Each year, thousands of members of academies, university professors, scientists, previous Nobel Prize laureates and members of parliamentary assemblies and others, are asked to submit candidates for the Nobel Prize for the coming year, reads the official website of Noble Prize.
These nominators are chosen in such a way that as many countries and universities as possible are represented over time.
After receiving all nominations, the Nobel Committees of the four prize-awarding institutions are responsible for the selection of the candidates.
The nomination processes start in September each year and no person can nominate themself for a Nobel Prize.
The names of the nominees cannot be revealed until 50 years later.
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What did Ellen Mattson further say?
Ellen Mattson, a writer and novelist and part of the Swedish Academy and the Noble Committee, said that theoretically anyone can be nominated; anyone who writes excellent, outstanding literature. However, there is no other demand besides the quality of work.
Mattson further said that while reading the literary piece of the nominated writer, one should be able to feel some kind of power and development that lasts. "Although the world is full of excellent writers, one needs something extra to be a laureate and it is very difficult to explain what that is. It is something you're born with," she said in a video.
"The romantics call it 'a divine spark' but for me, it's a voice that I hear in the writing," she said.
Although there is no age limit to qualify for a Noble Prize nomination Ellen said that it takes quite a lot of time to be a good writer. "Sometimes it takes a whole life to be a really good, excellent writer. So it follows that most laureates are not young, " she said.
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“Absolutely not,” she said on whether a writer's personality matters in the selection. If it's about personality that reflects through the work, that matters, she said, “But we never look at personal life. That is totally irrelevant.”
The only thing that is looked at is literary merit.
Once the winner is decided, the permanent secretary makes a call to inform the recipient of the same.