The Nobel Prize in literature is awarded annually to an author from any country who has produced "the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency". The "work" in this case generally refers to an author's work as a whole, not to any individual work, though individual works are sometimes cited in the awards. The Swedish Academy decides who, if anyone, will receive the prize in any given year.
List of Nobel Prize laureates in Literature from 1901 to the present day.
In earlier years the Nobel Committee stuck closely to the intent of the will, and left out certain world-renowned writers such as Leo Tolstoy and Henrik Ibsen for the Prize probably because their works were not "idealistic" enough.
Members of the Academy, members of literature academies and societies, professors of literature and language, former Nobelliterature laureates, and the presidents of writers' organizations are all allowed to nominate a candidate.
Mommsen was also the first Nobel laureate born (November 30, 1817), a combination of his advanced age and the early year in which he received the Prize.
The NobelPrizes were established from a fund bequeathed for that purpose by the Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel.
The Nobel Foundation is the legal owner and functional administrator of the funds and serves as the joint administrative body of the prize-awarding institutions, but it is not concerned with the prize deliberations or decisions, which rest exclusively with the four institutions.
Nobel's ambiguous stipulation that the literatureprize be awarded to the authors of works of an "idealistic tendency" was interpreted strictly in the beginning but has gradually been interpreted more flexibly.
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