Pulitzer, Nobel, Goncourt, Oscar… For personal, ethical or political reasons, they refused the Grail which came to salute their work.
1951. Julien Gracq refuses the Goncourt
“If I was given the Goncourt prize, I could not help but refuse”, says Julien Gracq in 1951. It is indeed the Shore of Syrtes who will shortly after receive the prize awarded at Drouant. The author, whose real name is Louis Poirier, a teacher in Paris, then politely declines the honor bestowed on him. Read our article.
1964.Jean-Paul Sartre refuses the Nobel
However, he had warned the Academy that he did not want any prizes. It was a waste of time: the author of Les Mots received the 1964 Nobel Prize for Literature. Informed of the news by an AFP journalist who had come to seek his reaction, he preferred to explain his refusal, motivated by personal and political reasons, directly to the Swedish press. Read our article
1973. Marlon Brando refuses the Oscar
Named best actor for his role as Vito Corleone in The Godfather, the actor chose to leave the platform offered to him to a Native American, Sacheen Littlefeather, to allow him to denounce the fate reserved for indigenous peoples. But the young woman, booed by the audience, will not have time to read her speech. Read our article
1973. Lê Duc Tho refuses the Nobel
In January 1973, the co-founder of the Vietnamese Communist Party concluded a difficult negotiation in Paris with the American Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to end the Vietnam War. The two men are then chosen to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, but the Vietnamese negotiator rejects the prize, believing that he cannot accept it until peace is effective. Read our article
nineteen eighty one. The Washington Post rejects the Pulitzer
In September 1980, the report “the world of Jimmy”, in the Washington Post, caused a sensation with his portrait of an eight-year-old drug addict and promised to follow in the footsteps of his drug dealer father. The article, rewarded by the Pulitzer jury the following year, however raises doubts. It will finally turn out that everything had been invented by Janet Cooke, a 26-year-old journalist, freshly hired at the Post. The prestigious daily can only refuse the award that has been awarded to it. Fifteen years later, in 1996, after having completely disappeared from the media landscape, Janet Cooke reappears in Nightlinean American television show, and in the magazine QG. She’s a saleswoman in Michigan for six bucks an hour. Read our article
2006. Grigori Perelman refuses the Fields medal
At the end of 2002, a crash in the world of mathematics: the Russian Grigori Perelman publishes an article presented as the resolution of the Poincaré conjecture. Checks made, the demonstration is exact and closes more than a century of research on this mathematical puzzle. The feat earned him the Fields Medal in 2006, the highest award in the discipline. But the Russian does not care at all and rejects this honor which he does not see the point of. Four years later, he does it again, refusing the million dollars offered by the Clay Mathematics Institute, which wants to reward the one who has solved one of the “millennium problems”. Read our article
All summer, Freed switches to summer time. Every day in the pages of Release or on Liberation.fr, recipes fresher than each other, stories of lost (or stolen) instruments, prestigious prizes refused and stories known to everyone, told with a new look.
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