That’s what Jean-Paul Sartre did when he declined the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964. Mr. Sartre declined the title of Nobel Laureate and the accompanying prize money of $53,000 (the equivalent of nearly $400,000 in 2012).
And what was Mr. Sartre’s reason? Mr. Sartre believed that “a writer must not accept official awards because to do so would add the influence of the institution that honored his work to the power of his pen. That is not fair to the reader…” (“Sartre Awarded Nobel Prize, but Rejects It,” The New York Times, October 23, 1964.)
The man took writing and words very seriously!
Who will win the Nobel Prize in Literature along with the $1.2 million in prize money this year? Find out this Thursday, October 11!