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Quiz about Literary Nobel Laureates From
Quiz about Literary Nobel Laureates From

Literary Nobel Laureates From? Quiz


They have all won the Nobel Prize for Literature, but where were they born?

A multiple-choice quiz by EnglishJedi. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
EnglishJedi
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
386,620
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
247
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
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Question 1 of 10
1. We begin at the very beginning, and the winner of the first Nobel Prize for Literature, awarded in 1901. The winner was a poet I doubt many of you will have read, Sully Prudhomme. Where was he born? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. From a winner who few (if any) of you have read, to one who just about everyone surely has. Rudyard Kipling won in 1907, becoming the first Briton to do so, but where was he born? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The recipient of the 1923 Nobel literature prize, poet W.B. Yeats, added a thirteenth country to the list of winners. Where was he born? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Known for his ironic, epic novels and novellas, Thomas Mann was a social critic and philanthropist who won the Nobel Prize in 1929. Where was he born? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Remarkably, it was not until 1930 that novelist, short-story writer and playwright Sinclair Lewis became the first American winner of the Nobel literary prize. Where was he born? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. A poet, diplomat, educator and humanist, she wrote under the pseudonym of Gabriela Mistral. In 1945 she became the fortieth recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature and the first Latin American winner. Where was she from? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Hermann Hesse is widely regarded as one of the most important German-language authors of the 20th century. Another anti-Nazi, he won the Nobel Prize in 1946, when his writing career was already over. Where was he born? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. An essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, T.S. Eliot is widely regarded as one of the foremost poets of the 20th century. Where was he born? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Many of you may not have read anything by the 1955 winner of the Nobel Prize, but Halldór Laxness was a genuine all-rounder: primarily a poet and novelist, he also wrote newspaper articles, travelogues, plays and short stories. He was also the only 20th-century Nobel laureate from his country. Where was he born? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. A graduate in law from the famous Sorbonne at the University of Paris, he became a career diplomat and was once Ambassador to the UK. Poet George Seferis won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1963, but where was he born? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. We begin at the very beginning, and the winner of the first Nobel Prize for Literature, awarded in 1901. The winner was a poet I doubt many of you will have read, Sully Prudhomme. Where was he born?

Answer: Paris, France

René François Armand Prudhomme was born in Paris in 1839. An engineer by trade, his first collection, 'Stances et Poèmes' ("Stanzas and Poems") was published in 1865 and contains what is still his best-known poem, 'Le vase brisé' ("The Broken Vase").

Prudhomme was made a 'Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur' in 1895 and in 1901 became the first winner of the Nobel literary prize. He died aged 68 in 1907 and is buried in the famous Père-Lachaise in Paris, the world's most visited cemetery.

Prudhomme was the first of 13 French winners of the Nobel Prize during the 20th century, the most by any country. During the same period, there were ten American winners and seven each from Britain, Germany and Sweden tied for third place.
2. From a winner who few (if any) of you have read, to one who just about everyone surely has. Rudyard Kipling won in 1907, becoming the first Briton to do so, but where was he born?

Answer: Bombay, India

Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born in 1865 on the campus of the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art in the city of Bombay (Bombay Presidency, British India), now renamed Mumbai, on the central-west coast of India. His father, a sculptor and pottery designer, was the principal and a professor at the school. A cousin, born two years after Rudyard, would go on to become Prime Minister of Britain three times, Stanley Baldwin.

A short-story writer, poet and novelist, Kipling has been loved by generations of children for "The Jungle Book", published in 1894. His most famous poem, "If-" (written in 1895 and first published in 1910), is one from which just about everyone can quote. From the ages of 6-12, Kipling grew up in Portsmouth and, in 1878 he enrolled at the United Services College at Westward Ho! in Devon, a prep-school for the British Army. Lacking the academic qualities needed for Oxford, Kipling returned to the sub-continent at the age of 16, taking an editorial job at a local newspaper in Lahore (Punjab Province, now in Pakistan). He published his first short story in 1885 and a collection of poetry the following year, and returned to London in 1889.

When Kipling won the 1907 Nobel Prize, he was the first English-language writer to do so. At the age of 42, he was also the youngest recipient at the time. In his later life, he was offered a knighthood and the post of Poet Laureate, both of which he declined. He died aged 70 in 1936 and is buried in place Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey in London.
3. The recipient of the 1923 Nobel literature prize, poet W.B. Yeats, added a thirteenth country to the list of winners. Where was he born?

Answer: Dublin, Ireland

William Butler Yeats was born in 1865 on the outskirts of Dublin in Sandymount, an affluent coastal suburb on the south side of the city. His father was the painter, John Butler Yeats: his portrait of the young William (and many others) can be seen at the National Gallery of Ireland.

The family moved to London when Yeats was just two years old, and he attended the prestigious Godolphin School in Hammersmith from the ages of 12-16. Returning to Dublin, Yeats finished his schooling at the newly-opened Protestant Erasmus Smith High School before going on to the Metropolitan School of Art.

Yeats' first collection of poems was published in the 'Dublin University Review' in 1885. A staunch nationalist throughout his life, Yeats' stressed the symbolic importance of receiving the 1923 Novel Prize so soon after Ireland's independence as a nation. Yeats died in France aged 73 in 1939.
4. Known for his ironic, epic novels and novellas, Thomas Mann was a social critic and philanthropist who won the Nobel Prize in 1929. Where was he born?

Answer: Lubeck, Germany

Paul Thomas Mann was born in 1875 into a bourgeois family in the Free City of Lübeck, then part of the German Empire and now in north-central Germany. His elder brother, Heinrich Mann, was both a radical and a successful novelist.

Mann went to university in Munich, studying history, economics, art history and literature with the intention of becoming a journalist. He published his first collection of short stories, 'Der Kleine Herr Friedemann' ("Litlle Mr Friedemann"), in 1898. and his first novel, the semi-autobiographical "Buddenbrooks" in 1901. He began writing, "The Magic Mountain" in 1912, and it took him thirteen years to complete what is now considered one of the most influential works in 20th century German literature. Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1929, the fifth German winner but the first since 1912.

Staunchly anti-Nazi, Mann was warned not to return to Germany whilst travelling in France in 1933. He moved his family first to Switzerland and then to the USA, where he taught at Princeton University. One of the most outspoken of ex-pat Germans living in the U.S., in 1940 Mann began recording anti-Nazi speeches that were broadcast from London on the BBC.

Mann returned to Switzerland in 1952, and died there, in Zurich, at the age of 80 three years later.
5. Remarkably, it was not until 1930 that novelist, short-story writer and playwright Sinclair Lewis became the first American winner of the Nobel literary prize. Where was he born?

Answer: Sauk Centre, Minnesota

Harry Sinclair Lewis was born in 1885 in the village of Sauk Centre in northwestern Minnesota. A graduate of Oberlin Academy in Ohio and Yale University, he published his first poems and short stories in the 'Yale Literary Magazine', which he also edited for a time. Four years after graduating (in 1908) he published his first novel, "Hike and the Aeroplane", under the pseudonym Tom Graham.

In 1916, Lewis began work on the first of his trademark novels about life in small-town America: "Main Street" was completed and published four years later. "Babbitt" followed in 1922 and "Arrowsmith" (for which Lewis was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, which he declined) in 1925. "Elmer Gantry" (1927) and "Dodsworth" (1929) contributed to Lewis winning the Nobel Prize in 1930.

Lewis wrote another eleven novels after winning the Nobel Prize, the most notable of which is probably "It Can't Happen Here", a 1935 story of a fascist candidate winning the American Presidential election. Lewis suffered from alcoholism for many years, and first entered rehab in 1937. It eventually killed him, at the age of 65, in Rome in 1951.


The alternatives are all birthplaces of Pulitzer Prize winning authors: Willa Cather was born in Gore, Virginia, William Faulkner in New Albany, Mississippi, and James Michener in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
6. A poet, diplomat, educator and humanist, she wrote under the pseudonym of Gabriela Mistral. In 1945 she became the fortieth recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature and the first Latin American winner. Where was she from?

Answer: Vicuña, Chile

She was born Lucila de María del Perpetuo Socorro Godoy Alcayaga in 1889 to a poor family in the commune of Vicuña near to the Argentina border in central Chile. Educated in a local school where her elder sister was the teacher, she published her first poems at the age of just 15. She began writing under the pen-name Gabriela Mistral in 1908, and in 1914 she won a national literary contest with 'Sonetos de la Muerte' ("Sonnets of Death"), which was inspired by the suicide of a teen lover.

Although her own formal education had ended at the age of 11, she began working as a school teacher just six years later. One of her students was Pablo Neruda, himself an internationally recognized poet.

By the middle of the 1920s, Mistral's had become established as one of the world's leading lyric poets. In 1925, she was invited to represent Latin America at the League of Nations' "Institute for Intellectual Cooperation". In addition to her poetry, she published more than 800 essays in various magazines worldwide during her lifetime.

Mistral was the first Latin American and the fifth woman to win the Nobel literary prize. She died at the age of 67, from pancreatic cancer in New York City, in 1957. Founded in 1981 and named in her honour, the Gabriela Mistral University in Santiago was one of the first centres for higher education in the country.
7. Hermann Hesse is widely regarded as one of the most important German-language authors of the 20th century. Another anti-Nazi, he won the Nobel Prize in 1946, when his writing career was already over. Where was he born?

Answer: Württemberg, German Empire

Hermann Karl Hesse was born in 1877 to an Indian-born mother and Estonian father in the northern Black Forest town of Calw, then in Wurttemberg in the German Empire, now in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwestern Germany. He was born both a German and Russian citizen, but the family moved to Basel in Switzerland when he was six years old although it would not be until 1923 that he officially became a Swiss national.

Hesse began working in a bookshop when he was 18, and in his spare time he read the classic German-language writers and philosophers. He published his first collection of poems, "Romantic Songs", the following year, in 1896. He published his first novel, "Peter Camenzind", in 1904, and it contained most of the themes (the search for the individual's place in modern society) that would permeate most of his works.

In 1914, Hesse tried to join the German Imperial Army but, unfit for active duty, he was assigned to caring for prisoners of war. He published the first of his best-known novels, "Demian" (written under the pseudonym Emil Sinclair) in 1919. "Siddhartha" and "Der Steppenwolf" followed in 1922 and 1927 respectively, and his final novel, 'Das Glasperlenspiel' ("The Glass Bead Game") was published in 1943.

He received the Nobel Prize at the age of 68 in 1946, three years after his retirement: although he would live another 16 years he did not write again. He died aged 85 in Switzerland in 1962.
8. An essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, T.S. Eliot is widely regarded as one of the foremost poets of the 20th century. Where was he born?

Answer: St Louis, Missouri, USA

Thomas Stearns Eliot OM was born in 1888 in St Louis, Missouri into a family roots in both New England and Old. He went to high school at Milton Academy in Massachusetts before going on to study philosophy at Harvard. After graduating in 1909 he moved temporarily to Paris and eventually found his way to London as a 25-year old in 1914. There he settled, worked and married, and eventually gained British citizenship in 1927.

It was during this early period in England that he established his reputation, publishing his magnum opus, "The Waste Land", in 1922. Other notable poems and collections such as "The Hollow Men", "Ash Wednesday", "Four Quartets" and, of course, "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" followed over the next two decades.

Eliot also wrote a number of plays, notably the verse drama "Murder in the Cathedral", chronicling the days before the martyrdom of Thomas Becket in 1170, first performed in Canterbury Cathedral in 1935.

Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1948. He died of emphysema aged 76 at his home in southwest London. His ashes are buried in the Somerset village from which his ancestors had emigrated to America. In January 1967, a memorial was placed in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey on the second anniversary of his death.
9. Many of you may not have read anything by the 1955 winner of the Nobel Prize, but Halldór Laxness was a genuine all-rounder: primarily a poet and novelist, he also wrote newspaper articles, travelogues, plays and short stories. He was also the only 20th-century Nobel laureate from his country. Where was he born?

Answer: Reykjavík, Iceland

Born Halldór Guðjónsson in 1902 in the Icelandic capital, Reykjavík, he adopted the name Halldór Kiljan Laxness during his time as a Benedictine monk in the 1920s. 'Laxness' was the name of the homestead a few miles outside of Reykjavik where he was raised and 'Kiljan' is the Icelandic name of an Irish martyr.

Laxness published his first novel, 'Barn ,ttúrunnar' ("Child of Nature"), when he was just 17 years old. He is best-known for some of his multi-volume works such as 'Barn Náttúrunnar' ("Child of Nature"), published in 1935 and 1936 and successfully translated in English in 1946, the four-part novel 'Heimsljós'
("World Light"), published between 1937 and 1940, and the historical fiction trilogy ' Íslandsklukkan' ("Iceland's Bell"), published between 1943 and 1946.

The citation accompanying his award of the 1955 Nobel Prize describes Laxness as "the most prolific and skillful essayist in Icelandic literature". Suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Laxness died aged 95 in 1998.
10. A graduate in law from the famous Sorbonne at the University of Paris, he became a career diplomat and was once Ambassador to the UK. Poet George Seferis won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1963, but where was he born?

Answer: Urla, Ottoman Empire

He was born Georgios Seferiades in 1900 in the city of Urla, then part of the Ottoman Empire and now in Ýzmir Province on the west coast of Turkey. Writing under the pseudonym George Seferis, he became one of the most influential Greek poets of the 20th century.

The family moved to Athens in 1914 when Georgios's father took a job as a lecturer at the university there, and he completed his education there before going on the college in France. He returned in Athens in 19215 to take up a post with the Greek Foreign Office, moving with the Free Greek Government in exile to Crete, Egypt, South Africa and Italy during World War II. By this stage a prominent diplomat, he held ministerial posts in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq before becoming the Greek Ambassador in London from 1957 until 1961.

Seferis published his first collection of poetry in 1931. In 1936 he published a translation into Greek of T.S. Eliot's epic "The Waste Land". By the time he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1963, Seferis had retired from the diplomatic service and, virtually, from writing too. He died aged 71 in Athens in 1971.
Source: Author EnglishJedi

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