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Monday, January 09, 2012

Tolkien didn't get a Nobel Prize due to Poor Story Telling

JRR Tolkien was denied the Nobel Prize in literature five decades ago, the reason of record: "the result has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality." His friend and professor of literature, CS Lewis, nominated him for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, when the committee reviewed the work, along with that of Robert Frost and EM Forster, among others, they were all found to be lacking (or written by people who are too old), so the prize was awarded to Ivo Andrić. Unless you're a literature major, you've probably never heard of him. Whereas the losers are world renowned (some of them, at least).

Fifty years after the prize is awarded, the records of the Nobel committee's reasoning become available to the public. Swedish reporter Andreas Ekström has taken it upon himself to look through the documents when they are declassified. This year he found Papa Tolkien's name on the list of losers.

Prizes and accolades are nice, but art is meant to be shared. Since becoming the biggest loser in 1961, The Lord of the Rings has risen to be the most loved book(s) in the United Kingdom and perhaps the best known fantasy work of all time. Too bad it's not very well written.

What have the critics said about you?

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