German prizewinners 2016

In previous posts we pointed out how literary prizes are useful for our collection development. By acquiring prizewinning works we document the evolving canon of German literature.  In this post I will present a selection of German literary prizes awarded recently.

Arguably the most prestigious prize for German language literature is the Georg-Büchner-Preis. The 2016 prize was awarded by the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung to Marcel Beyer for his rich work which ranges from the epic to the lyric and essayistic. The Akademie said that “his texts devote themselves to the representation of the German past with the same precise dedication with which they trace the sound of the present time. They pursue a poetic geography, which is always also an exploration of language”. The latest works acquired by the University Library are his poetry collection Graphit (C203.d.8391) published in 2014 and his collection of essays Sie nannten es Sprache (C204.d.7081) published in 2016. Continue reading

Italian literary prizewinners for 2016

We have written in the past of the five major Italian literary prizes and, since we started our blog, we have highlighted the prizewinners each year.

Here are the winners for 2016:

The Strega prize: awarded this year to Edoardo Albinati for his novel La scuola cattolica (C211.c.1831)

The Bagutta prize: awarded this year to Paolo Di Stefano for Ogni altra vita : storia di italiani non illustri (C211.c.4073) and to Paolo Maurensig for his novel Teoria delle ombre (C210.c.5964) Continue reading

Italian literary prizewinners for 2015

We try, each year, to draw your attention to the literary prizewinners of various European countries. We have written in the past of the five major Italian prizes and in July last year we posted the results of the 2015 Strega prize after Nicola Lagioia had won with his novel La ferocia (C208.c.9478).

The Strega is undoubtedly the most prestigious of the Italian literary prizes, but there are 4 others we have highlighted in recent years and below are the winners for 2015: Continue reading

Libris Geschiedenis Prijs for 2014 : recent prizewinners on Dutch history

In deciding which Dutch language titles to buy, the Library needs to be very selective, bearing in mind that the audience for such material amongst our readership is small. What we buy in Dutch is a small percentage of Holland’s total publishing output. On the other hand the Library has excellent collections of Dutch material, and providing continuity in our collection development is important. The Dutch language collection currently numbers about 22,000 items, and we add between 200 and 250 new titles each year. Our main focus is on history, fine arts, church history and medieval literature. Contemporary literature is acquired much more selectively.

The annual Libris Geschiedenis Prijs is a useful indicator of important recent titles in Dutch history, and the shortlist is scrutinised carefully. We buy many but not all of the titles featured, restricting our choice to books relating to the Dutch-speaking world. We did not acquire the 2010 winner, for example, a book in Dutch on the history of the Congo by David van Reybrouck, although this later appeared in English translation and was therefore received under legal deposit (649:2.c.201.29).

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Strega Prize 2015

Amici_della_Domenica

One of the first meetings of the Amici della Domenica (image taken from Wikimedia Commons)

In a post last September we gave an overview of the most important literary prizes awarded in Italy, the most prestigious being the Strega prize. Last night the 2015 Premio Strega was awarded to Nicola Lagioia for his novel La ferocia.The Premio Strega was established in 1947 by the journalist Guido Bellonci and his wife, the novelist Maria Villavecchia Bellonci, with the financial support of Guido Alberti, the owner of the firm Strega, which still produces a popular herbal liqueur. In the aftermath of the Second World War and after twenty years of cultural oppression under the fascist regime, their hope was to revitalize a free intellectual debate with the help of their Amici della Domenica or ‘Sunday friends’, a group of artists and intellectuals who formed a literary salon in the Bellonci residence in Rome. This group included, for example, Massimo Bontempelli, Guido Piovene, Carlo Bernari, Paola Masino, Paolo Monelli, Palma Bucarelli and Alberto Savinio.

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