The Guardian Hay Festival 2006

A Little Something: remembering Seamus Heaney

2 September 2013 16:59

‘So.’ So begins Seamus Heaney’s translation of ‘Beowulf’. I know it didn’t come easy to him. The morning after he…

Mo Yan collects the Nobel Prize for Literature. Image: Getty

Mo Yan’s malignant apology for ‘necessary’ censorship

11 December 2012 15:58

The Chinese writer Mo Yan collected the Nobel Prize for Literature last night. In his acceptance lecture, he reiterated his…

Philip Roth is awarded a medal by President Obama. He deserves more. Image: Getty.

Philip Roth retires

10 November 2012 14:51

Philip Roth has retired. He told a French magazine that, at 79, he was ‘done’. There will be no more…

The award of the Nobel prize has not hidden the EU's existential strain; if anything, it has exposed it further.

The Nobel Prize’s EU joke prompts questions about the nation state

12 October 2012 16:38

The award of the Nobel Prize to the European Union is a tremendous joke; and like all great jokes it…

Image: Getty

The EU wins the Nobel Peace Prize

12 October 2012 11:20

Today is not April the first; but the European Union has indeed won the Nobel Peace Prize. It is a…

Chinese author Mo Yan autographs his boo

The politics of the Nobel Prize for literature

11 October 2012 14:34

The Nobel committee have delivered their verdict on the literature prize: Mo Yan is new laureate. Over at the books…

Mo Yan is the new Nobel Laureate. Image: Getty.

Mo Yan wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

11 October 2012 13:44

The new Nobel laureate is Mo Yan, a Chinese writer. He is the first Chinese citizen to win the prize,…

Javier Marías is bound to win the Nobel Prize for Literature at some point, so it’s best to make sure that you’ve something to say when he does. Image: Getty

An introduction to Javier Marías

13 September 2012 12:31

The fundamental purpose of the literary critic is to incentivise his audience to read books of which he approves. He…

Serbia’s Nobel U-turn

10 December 2010 12:46

Yesterday, I blogged that Serbia’s decision not to attend the Nobel Prize ceremonybecause of Chinese pressure was a shameful stance…

China’s new BFF: Serbia

9 December 2010 14:05

China is doing what it can do to scupper the forthcoming Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo. Their Foreign Ministry…

The Nobel Peace Prize Jumps the Shark

9 October 2009 11:17

I mean, really, how absurd. We are accustomed to being baffled by the Nobel committee, but the decision to award…