This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, see our privacy statement

New Left Review 80, March-April 2013

benedict anderson


Notes on the Nobel Prize for Literature

The decision to bestow the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature on the Chinese novelist Mo Yan raises once again the ticklish question of the patterns of distribution for these laurels at the global level. In almost every country, of course, the awarding of literary prizes has typically been contaminated by national politics, the formation of literary cliques, religious convictions, racial prejudices, double standards and the ideologies of the period. Is this the main reason why, over the 110 years of announcements of winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, there has never been an awardee from any country in Southeast Asia—while every other region has had its turn?

Subscribe for just £45 and get free access to the archive
Please login on the left to read more or buy the article for £3


Benedict Anderson, ‘The Unrewarded’, NLR 80: £3

If you want to create a new NLR account please register here

’My institution subscribes to NLR, why can't I access this article?’