Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates
Lists of Nobel Prizes and Laureates


Candidates for the 1963 Nobel Prize in Literature

2 January, 2014

All information concerning the nominations and selections of the Nobel Laureates is kept secret for 50 years.

Of the 80 individuals suggested for the 1963 Nobel Prize in Literature, 22 were new candidates. Among the new ones were French President Charles de Gaulle and Nelly Sachs, later awarded the 1966 Nobel Prize in Literature.

See all nominations for the 1963 Nobel Prize in Literature in the Nomination Archive database

The Nobel Committee for Literature had six candidates considered most relevant this year:
• Greek poet Giorgos Seferis
• British poet W. H. Auden
• Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (later awarded the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature)
• Irish born Samuel Beckett (later awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature)
• Japanese novelist, poet, playwright Yukio Mishima
• Danish born novelist Aksel Sandemose

Of these, the Nobel Committee in the end suggested three candidates for the 1963 Nobel Prize in Literature to the Swedish Academy:
1. Giorgos Seferis
2. W. H.  Auden
3. Pablo Neruda

All Nobel Committee members proposed unanimously Giorgos Seferis, with one committee member's reservation for a more positive valuing of Beckett's authorship. Secretary Mr. Österling wrote that there now was an opportunity to pay a beautiful tribute to modern Hellas, a language area that so far had been waiting too long being honored in this context. Concerning Beckett, Mr. Österling wondered if his authorship corresponded to the idealistic intentions of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Yukio Mishima, one of the new candidates this year, was one of four Japanese nominees and it was decided that his authorship was not yet to be given preference in comparison with the other four from Japan.

Aksel Sandemose, nominated by Nobel committee member Mr. Johnson, was not to be given preference either r since his authorship not yet fulfilled the extraordinary claims of an international prize.

Giorgos Seferis was nominated in 1955 for the first time and again in 1961 by T. S. Eliot. In 1963 it was Nobel Committee member Mr. Johnson who nominated Seferis, who in the end was awarded the 1963 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his eminent lyrical writing, inspired by a deep feeling for the Hellenic world of culture".

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