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Nadine Gordimer

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When the six-year-old daughter of a friend of mine overheard her father telling someone that I had been awarded the Nobel Prize, she asked whether I had ever received it before. He replied that the Prize was something you could get only once. Whereupon the small girl thought a moment: 'Oh' she said, 'so it's like chicken-pox.'

 
Nadine Gordimer

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"Must I always send a message for everything," when asked why he had not responded to the award for Shirin Ebadi, the first Iranian Nobel Prize winner, four days after it was made. "The Nobel Peace Prize is not very important, the ones that count are the scientific and literary prizes," he added. However it seemed in those early remarks, Khatami was trying to reduce conservatives anger over Shirin Ebadi, who wore no hijab while accepting the prize in the ceremony, because later Khatami in an interview reported by Iran press service.com () on December 12, 2003 said: "The Nobel Prize is very important in all domains; it is obvious that every Iranian must be proud to know that another Iranian, especially an Iranian woman, got this Prize. This said, more important than the prize of the peace is peace itself. Our world is a world of war, a world of terror and violence, a world of illness and famine, a world of discrimination", he replied when observed that the welcome reserved to the laureate in Iran was "tepid". "Politic is always an important factor. She continues her work, a work that, I hope, she would be able to pursue freely in Iran. I also know that she had some problems"

 
Mohammad Khatami
 

I humbly accept the Centennial Nobel Peace Prize. Forty years ago today, the Prize for 1961 was awarded for the first time to a Secretary-General of the United Nations — posthumously, because Dag Hammarskjöld had already given his life for peace in Central Africa. And on the same day, the Prize for 1960 was awarded for the first time to an African — Albert Luthuli, one of the earliest leaders of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. For me, as a young African beginning his career in the United Nations a few months later, those two men set a standard that I have sought to follow throughout my working life.

 
Kofi Annan
 

In its conception the literature prize belongs to days when a writer could still be thought of as, by virtue of his or her occupation, a sage, someone with no institutional affiliations who could offer an authoritative word on our times as well as on our moral life. (It has always struck me as strange, by the way, that Alfred Nobel did not institute a philosophy prize, or for that matter that he instituted a physics prize but not a mathematics prize, to say nothing of a music prize - music is, after all, more universal than literature, which is bound to a particular language.) The idea of writer as sage is pretty much dead today. I would certainly feel very uncomfortable in the role.

 
J. M. Coetzee
 

As a Nobel Prize winner I cannot but regret that the award was never given to Mark Twain, nor to Henry James, speaking only of my own countrymen. Greater writers than these also did not receive the prize. I would have been happy — happier — today if the prize had been given to that beautiful writer Isak Dinesen.

 
Ernest Hemingway
 

As a Nobel Prize winner I cannot but regret that the award was never given to Mark Twain, nor to Henry James, speaking only of my own countrymen. Greater writers than these also did not receive the prize. I would have been happy — happier — today if the prize had been given to that beautiful writer Isak Dinesen.

 
Karen Blixen
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