Patrick White

Banquet speech

As the Laureate was unable to be present at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, December 10, 1973, the speech was read by M. Sidney Nolan

Your Majesty, and Gentlemen of the Swedish Academy,

It is with great regret that I cannot revisit Stockholm on such an occasion as today. But to revisit and attend in thought will not be difficult, as one of the memories from travels in my youth is connected with the Town Hall of Stockholm. When I was sixteen my parents and I travelled up from Malmö by train. Although this was many years ago and the visit only a brief one, there are still left in my memory the crossing of waters, walks along the quays of Stockholm, and the then new Town Hall. (Perhaps I shall also venture to add it was in Stockholm that I drank my first glass of wine.) Climatic conditions and my health permitting it is my wish to return once again, looking with a youth’s memories and an old man’s eyes on the city from which so large an honour has now been bestowed upon me.

From Les Prix Nobel en 1973, Editor Wilhelm Odelberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1974

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1973

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