Shmuel Agnon

Facts

Shmuel Yosef Agnon

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Shmuel Yosef Agnon
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1966

Born: 17 July 1888, Buczacz, Austria-Hungary (now Buchach, Ukraine)

Died: 17 February 1970, Rehovot, Israel

Residence at the time of the award: Israel

Prize motivation: “for his profoundly characteristic narrative art with motifs from the life of the Jewish people”

Language: Hebrew

Prize share: 1/2

Life

Shmuel Yosef Agnon was born in Buczacz, present day Ukraine. In 1907, Agnon moved to Jaffa, Palestine. Six years later, he moved to Germany where he met his wife and lived until 1924, when the family returned to Palestine after a fire destroyed their home, destroying his manuscripts and book collection. This traumatic event was occasionally referred to in his writing.

Work

Shmuel Agnon was one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction. His works deal with the conflict of Jewish tradition and language and the modern world. His first works were published when he was a teenager and he immediately gained a reputation. His breakthrough novel was Hakhnāsat kallāh (1931) (The Bridal Canopy). After World War II, under the impact of the holocaust, Agnon wrote Ir Umeloah (1973) A City and the Fullness Thereof. The book is a collection of folktales, legends, and chronicles portraying his birth town, Buczacz.

To cite this section
MLA style: Shmuel Agnon – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Sat. 2 Mar 2024. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1966/agnon/facts/>

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