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Louise Glück

It is certainly very difficult to write something, whether in details or in briefs, about a Nobel Laureate. And if it is to be written by someone amateurish like me, it will prove to be impossible. And it becomes even more difficult if that Nobel Laureate wins the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Literature seems always very difficult, to me at least, in stricter sense I mean, as their meaning whatever the form the literature takes, if it is be poetry or short story or novel, always evokes a sort of uncertainty. The deciphering of meaning from any literary works of any genre or form has always been proven difficult. Likely it is difficult to write about the writers themselves.

This year’s Nobel in literature has been awarded to Louise Gluck. She is an American poet with Russian Hungarian Jewish descent. I had to listen to some audio clips to understand how her name should be pronounced. There are many variations of course. She was born in 1943 in New York. Gluck has so far authored 12 books of poetry. She also writes essay. Apart from her recent award of Nobel Prize she has also been awarded with many other awards and medals including Pulitzer Prize.

More or less her poems revolve around three major themes of trauma, desire and nature. She is also considered as an autobiographical poet and also referred with the Confessional Poets.  She draws heavily from different mythological sources as per the need and motive of the writing.

In childhood she had suffered from a sort of eating disorder causing weight loss and a keen desire to stay thin. This disorder is called anorexia nervosa or simply anorexia. Her poems also canvas around the theme of mortality and morbidity. She had to take psychoanalytic treatment and put to rehabilitation which is deemed to be caused by the death of one of her elder sisters. Whatever the reason is she has suffered some sort of psychological turmoil during her childhood. And this has been reflected in many of her works with richness and vividness.

 I have read some of her poems including the Past and also the Metamorphoses. It will be impossible to comment on her poetic genius for me without reading all of her works and her development as a poet over the time. Even if I read all her works, it will not be possible to comment due to the universality and also “personality” she has invoked throughout her works comparing to the very limited experience in literature I have.  

The 2020 Nobel Prize in literature has been awarded to her “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal” as the Nobel committee has put it during the awarding of the prize.

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