Every Nobel Laureate is an individual with a different story. In their Nobel Lectures, delivered a few days before or on the day of the award ceremony, they give a lecture based on the work behind the prize. Get to know the persons behind the prize - their ideas, passions and visions.
Listen to some of the Nobelprize.org editors' favourite lectures by Literature and Peace Prize Laureates and get inspired!
In his Nobel Lecture, Seamus Heaney recalls his childhood in an ever-growing family in rural Co. Derry in Northern Ireland, "crowded together in the three rooms of a traditional thatched farmstead", listening to the wireless. There, he experienced foreign languages for the first time, and even if he didn't understand the words, he began "a journey into the wideness of the world beyond."
Here, Toni Morrison talks about the power of language, and that it's important that we all take responsibility for it, as "it is generative; it makes meaning that secures our difference, our human difference - the way in which we are like no other life."
(I believe that poetry is an action, ephemeral or solemn)
In his Nobel Lecture, held in Spanish, Pablo Neruda describes the craft behind and components needed for the making of a poem - "las aportaciones de la tierra y del alma" (contributions from the earth and from the soul) - and the duties of the poet.
Kailash Sathyarthi's vision is to put an end to child labour. At grass-root level he has achieved the release of some 80,000 children so far. His Nobel Lecture is a call for action: "Today it is time for every child to have the right to life". The lecture starts with some pieces in Hindi.
Already at eleven years of age Malala Yousafzai fought for girls' right to education. After having suffered an attack on her life by Taliban gunmen in 2012, she has continued her struggle and become a leading advocate of girls' rights. Listen to her Nobel Lecture, where she urges the world's governments to "Let this be the last time that we see a child out of school".
Three years after his release from 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He shared the prize with the man who had released him, President Frederik Willem de Klerk, for their peaceful termination of the apartheid regime. He held his Nobel Lecture in Oslo, Norway, as a representative of the "millions of people across the globe, the anti-apartheid movement".