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Where Words Fail: An Intimate Encounter With Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer

Sweden claimed the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature for one of its own. But a visit to the home of Tomas Tranströmer finds a complex road to communication, as the ageing poet relies on a few spoken words and gestures, his wife's aid -- and, of cou

(wikipedia)
(wikipedia)

STOCKHOLM – It's early winter, and under a sky of lacy clouds, Rinkeby confirms its reputation as a modest suburb, dully planned, with banal architecture. Located just 10 kilometers from downtown Stockholm, this town has nearly 15,000 residents, the overwhelming majority of whom are foreign or the children of immigrants. Shades of Babel – several dozen different languages are spoken in Rinkeby besides Swedish, it's said maybe even 100: an approximate number, unverifiable but symbolic. The argot born in the late 20th century on the outskirts of Swedish cities like Stockholm, Malmö, Göteborg is called Rinkebysvenska ("Rinkeby Swedish") or förortssvenska ("suburban Swedish").

On this mid-December day, the Rinkeby town library has an astonishing event on its program, one that has been scheduled regularly for the past 20 years. A few days after the Nobel prize for literature is handed out, the laureate is received at the library by the students of a nearby school. The exchange -- an easy-going blend of Christmas spirit, social action and poetry -- is as unexpected as it is gripping, even for the most cynical members of the audience.

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García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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