Nobel laureate John Foss says no to large parts of the Nobel programme: “It doesn’t give me any pleasure.”

Nobel laureate John Foss says no to large parts of the Nobel programme: “It doesn’t give me any pleasure.”

John Foss says no to everything he doesn’t have to share when he goes to Stockholm to accept the Nobel Prize and its 11 million Swedish krona prize money.


– The press conference and all interviews were canceled at Vos’s request, Louise Hedberg of the Swedish Academy informed VG.

Refers to the Nobel Institute when it comes to the John Foss Program in connection with his receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature on December 10. As the first Norwegian writer in 95 years.

The award is a gold medal, a diploma and 11 million Swedish krona. According to the Nobel Institute, there are several programmatic engagements during the so-called Nobel Week, but the only thing a laureate must do in order to receive the award is to give his or her Nobel Lecture.

“In addition, we respect the choices the laureate makes regarding what he or she will and will not participate in during Nobel Week,” Nobel Foundation press officer Rebecca Øxelström tells VG.

John Vos confirms that he has chosen to say no to program entries in which winners do not need to participate.

– There are many program entries that you can participate in, that you cannot participate in, and those that I do not need to participate in, I choose not to participate in all of them together.

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“I now have a program designed mostly for what I have the time and energy to participate in,” he wrote in an email to VG.

Looking forward to completion

Winner: For the first time in 95 years, a Norwegian writer has won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Knut Hamsun and Sigrid Undset have all won previously.

When it comes to the traditional press conference usually held by the various winners, he answers as follows:

– As far as I know, not all winners hold this press conference. It was the Swedish Academy that suggested – without my asking – that it could be deleted because I had already given many interviews, and there was a lot of media interest in the award.

– And of course I’m happy to escape.

John Foss is not afraid that someone will think he did not appreciate the Nobel laureate because he chose to narrow the scope of the program:

– no. I do not have the impression that writers like Beckett, Pinter, or Jelinek, who did not meet to receive the prize, somehow indicated that they did not appreciate receiving the Nobel Prize.

– The only person who pointed this out is, I think, Doris LessingDoris LessingWhen reporters told Lessing that she had won in 2007, she replied: “Oh my God!” She waved reporters away.says Voss.

When asked what he himself was most looking forward to these days in Stockholm, Vos answered directly:

– To finish with them. Large social gatherings do not give me happiness, on the contrary, Voss writes for VG.

This year’s other Nobel laureates (Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Economics) will hold a press conference in Stockholm on December 6 and 7 – before the award ceremony itself on December 10.

The Nobel Institute says this is not always the case:

– Not all award winners hold press conferences or give interviews. Over the years, we have even had prize winners who were not present in Stockholm, Rebecca Öxelström of the Nobel Foundation tells VG.

This applies, among other things, to Bob Dylan, who did not personally attend the award ceremony itself in 2016. He stressed that he feels it is a great honor to receive the award, and gave the Nobel Lecture during a visit to Stockholm a short while ago. Months later – and thus he received the award and the financial prize at that time.

According to the rules, the lecture must take place within six months of the award ceremony on December 10.

The Nobel Institute informed VG that John Foss had agreed to visit the library in Rinkeby two days before the Nobel Prize ceremony itself. Here, Vos will meet schoolchildren from Rinkeby and Tensta. This has been on the Nobel Program since 1988. Here, children and young people will hold a theater program where they will talk about their work with this year’s Literature Prize winner.

This is usually greatly appreciated, says Økselström of the Nobel Institute.

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John Foss is scheduled to deliver the Nobel Lecture on December 7. This will be broadcast on the Nobel Institute website. He received the same award on December 10.

On 5 October, it was announced that John Foss would receive the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Norwegian writer in 95 years. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Knut Hamsun and Sigrid Undset have all won previously.

Throughout the history of the Nobel Prize, only one Literature Prize winner has rejected the award itself: Jean-Paul Sartre, who has consistently rejected all awards. Russian Boris Pasternak received the award in 1958, and he accepted it, but the Soviet authorities later forced him to reject it.


Ashura Okorie

Ashura Okorie

"Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert."

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