Nobel Prize winners are authorities in their fields. Their books enter the canon of works that should be read – and not necessarily only the winners in the literature category. Which titles are particularly worth recommending and why? We suggest.
The 1967 novel by the Colombian writer was voted the second most important book in the Spanish language – only ”Don Quixote” turned out to be more important. the 50 million copies printed and translations into 35 languages are impressive
The story of the Buendia family and the Macondo settlement mixes fiction and fantasy with real events from Colombian history. The novel’s main themes include loneliness and incest, and references to the Bible are also important. The magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez is also well known to the Polish reader from books such as Love in the Time of Cholera and Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
The Hungarian Nobel laureate, who died five years ago, is an author who refers in his work to his Jewish roots. He was a prisoner of Auschwitz and lost almost his entire family during the war. los Losraciones’ is an autobiographical book presenting wartime fate from the perspective of a 15-year-old boy who was imprisoned in Auschwitz, Buchenwald and the Zeitz camp between 1944 and 1945.
The young man takes a rather naïve approach to the tragic events – only gradually does he realize the tragedy of life in the camps and the ease with which death can be met here. The author does not become entangled in his own suffering, but rather tries to observe the reality around him. Although he manages to survive, unlike others he does not want to forget what happened in the German camps.
Steinbeck’s book was published in 1952, a decade before he himself won the Nobel Prize. It was considered a paraphrase of the biblical story of Cain and Abel. The story of the Trask family up to World War I is presented here.
The story of Adam Trask, a single father raising two sons, is set in the world of California ranchers. Aron and Khaleb are constantly competing with each other for the recognition and love of their tough father. They are very different from each other, but it is a coincidence that they love the same girl. Finding her mother adds to the drama. A tragedy occurs.
The 1954 novel is the first work of its kind in Golding’s career. Its content, the fate of boys rescued on a deserted island after a plane crash, is an allegorical representation of the decline of human culture. The students at first benefit from the lack of adult supervision, then try to organize themselves by forming a small community according to their own rules, but eventually plunge into fighting and barbarism anyway. The reality on the island where the boys manage to escape nuclear annihilation is hardly more human.
This 1927 novel weaves around the inner dilemmas of loner Harry Haller. The author changes the form many times to look at the protagonist from different perspectives, asking questions about human freedom, the attitude towards the bourgeois lifestyle and the need to be at peace with oneself. Realism is combined here with surrealism. We can find in the novel threads of Hesse’s personal experiences, but also references to Goethe’s works
See also: Unusual professions of famous writers. What did they do before they became famous?
The work from 1947 was dusted off with the outbreak of the last pandemic. It is set in the plague-stricken city of Oran. However, the events that take place there during the outbreak of the deadly disease must be transferred to a broader, universal plane. Human attitudes in the face of mortal danger are related to Camus’ observations and reflections during the war, in the face of death and annihilation. We find here dilemmas concerning human conscience and honor, which are put to the test every day – the opportunities for these choices created by the epidemic are just a pretext for asking important questions and pondering.
The list could not be complete without a Pole. Henryk Sienkiewicz is best known around the world for “Quo vadis” because it is a universal work. However, he won the Nobel Prize for lifetime achievement. The novel, written in 1896, was seen above all as a belief that a moral idea would triumph over adversity and barbaric force.