The elusive Nobel Prize –

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Sergio Velasco

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“I like you when you are silent because you are absent”, Poem 15

There is no more coveted prize in the world than the Nobel Prize, which is awarded every year by the Swedish Academy, by testamentary order of its founder. Considered the coveted recognition as the pinnacle award of a career full of surprises, disappointments and unimaginable contradictions.

By obtaining it, whatever the cost, the winner becomes part of an exclusive elite. He rises to Olympus, where he shares a seat with others of equal size and exclusive intelligence that makes him different, whether he likes it or not, without intending to, since the famous institution names you one of its own. You stop being you, to be a member of an imaginary being, in an imaginary world, with imaginary people (Nicanor Parra).

Alfred Nobel was a prolific inventor, billionaire industrialist, who among his many other discoveries was the lethal dynamite, the cause of thousands of deaths in the bloody wars faced by uncivilized nations. Wars that destroy the very essence of human beings, turning them into true and ferocious madmen, who feed unstoppable hatred, with serious unforeseeable consequences.

Tormented by the warlike use given to his powerful weapon and the flows of money received, he decides, in order to promote intelligence, to donate this large fund, recognizing men and women who contribute to the development of the humanities and sciences. Especially to institutions and people who contribute to planetary peace, to maintain a minimum of rational balance, which is not so lacking lately. Before the nuclear holocaust arrives, without anyone and nothing can stop it.

The juries of the prestigious Academy after not very sacrosanct councils, so they can boast have fallen into a labyrinth of contradictions when voting for one or another applicant; being their sole and unappealable decisions. In more than one case motivated by personal feelings or political concomitants, according to the circumstances of the moment. Influenced many times by events unrelated to the quality of the applicants where some of them will never see the elusive prize in their hands.

In fact, for the first time since 1943, the Nobel Prize in Literature was not awarded in 2019, due to a notorious sexual abuse scandal; which meant the resignation of seven of its 18 members.

For reasons totally unrelated to his great literary work, Jorge Luis Borges, nominated eight times, was never considered. Being a “right-wing anarchist” weighed on him, according to his biographers; or “his political slips” with the dictatorships of Rafael Videla and Augusto Pinochet. Nicanor Parra, the Chilean anti-poet of seductive international fame and multiple awards, for his different and unique poetic expression of great linguistic value, was nominated three times. Regardless of the literary forms, his insurmountable wall was his stormy “skirt affairs” with an official translator of the Swedish jury, who in spite of himself made the lobby to close all the doors and windows of the academy forever. He died at the age of 103 waiting for the well-deserved tribute.

Salman Rushdie, a British-American writer of Indian origin, author of the famous bestseller “The Satanic Verses” and an almost certain candidate for this year’s award, was frustrated in his choice because his controversial work aroused the anger of Shia Muslims, who they consider an insult to the Koran, Mohammed and the Islamic faith. Salman was stabbed by a fanatic, seriously injured. The Academy cut to the chase and awarded the prize – deservedly – to the French octogenarian Annie Arnaux, one of the few 17 women to receive the Nobel Prize for literature, since its creation.

The recent Peace 2022 award honored the Belarusian activist Alés Bialiatski, the Russian organization Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Libertéis. They were distinguished for their work in protecting the fundamental rights of citizens and demonstrating the importance of civil society in building peace and democracy: the right to criticize power and protect human rights and peaceful coexistence between countries. neighbours.

Former US President Barak Obama, the first African-American in office, had said he would do anything to deserve it. During his two terms of rule not a single day passed without his nation being in war. Honest like few others, he donated the succulent prize to charity, which honors his person. Greta Thunberg has been deliberately postponed, in 2019, 2020, and once again this year, because she has been an ecological activist since she was 10 years old. Her campaign to educate world leaders has meant mobilizing youth around the world. Her words at the UN echo in the deaf ears of those who bear the greatest responsibility. Conflicting interests prevent her from being given this well-deserved and necessary Nobel Peace Prize, in order to continue her transcendent mission.

Two controversial cases have marked those who justly received the Nobel Prize in Physics, for their advanced discoveries, fulfilling the wishes of the Swedish philanthropist. Bring science closer to the benefit of new spaces for the development of intelligence, in scientific research to reveal beyond what is known, the mystery that moves the mind to reach infinity.

Albert Einstein and his Serbian wife, Mileva Maric, never recognized even by his spouse, contributed as an advanced mathematician in shaping the theory of relativity, the theoretical explanation of the Brownian movement and light quanta, which earned him the prize Nobel to Albert; whose machismo and selfishness destroyed the career of her partner, to the point that she was never appointed to any job, to the benefit of her husband. Marie Curie, the first woman to receive two Nobel Prizes, in Physics and Chemistry, discovered the whole truth. The biographical novel by author Marie Benedict, “In the Shadow of Einstein”, recounts the unknown life of one of the most important and fighter physical and mathematical scientists of the 20th century,

Brian P. Schmint, Australian awarded in 2011 for the discovery of the accelerated expansion of the Universe and the observation of distant supernovae, did all his work in the Calan-Tololo project together with the Chilean professor and astronomer Mario Hamuy, later National Science Award . It was a sad experience for those who safely delivered more than half of the studies he had compiled. Schmint was not able to share the Nobel Prize with his true mentor, the controversy opened up and he later recognized his mistake in Chile and Hamuy graciously forgave him, for the benefit of astronomy.

The first Chilean and Latin American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature was Gabriela Mistral, whom in 1945 the Academy elevated to the altar of the muses for the beauty of her singing to the girls and boys of the world. Seven years passed for her beloved homeland to award her the National Prize for Literature. Pablo Neruda, the unforgettable poet, a Chilean who knew how to make the world fall in love with “Canto General” and “Veinte Poems de Amor”, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, and knew how to enter the hearts of the people, with his thick voice and his loving prose. The Castilian language has benefited from two great eternal poetry.

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The elusive Nobel Prize –