A Nobel Prize, for me? You’re too kind. It’s a great honour to accept this award, and the eight million kronor that comes with it. It’s all there?
I’m afraid I can’t stay for the rest of the evening, but before I go I’d like to talk a little bit about my novel, the one which earned me this award. I am speaking, of course, of my debut novel, Unless I Am Awarded the Nobel Prize.
The research for this book was painstaking. I spent months in libraries, in newspaper archives, in idling cars, preparing to write this book. The novel, as many of you know, concerns a group of intellectuals, all at the top of their respective fields, who are selected as the judges of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
As they prepare to carry out their duties, strange occurrences take place, and it becomes apparent that a mysterious writer has targeted them and intends to destroy their lives, in horrible ways, unless he is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
When I began writing this novel, people told me I was crazy. They continued to tell me this even after the novel was published. But I didn’t pay attention, and I credit my success to my stubborn belief in this book, which gave me the inner strength to conduct the meticulous research it required.
I wasn’t satisfied learning the names of this year’s jurors, names carefully guarded — no. I also discovered where they lived, profiled their family members, and tracked their movements and activities to the hour.
I quit my job in order to dedicate myself full-time to this important research, because I knew it would help me develop my characters and was integral to the book’s success.
I even used my savings to hire professional investigators, and a few mercenaries — a gamble, but it paid off. The money I lost during the course of my research is more than repaid now, given the hefty cash prize — and I mean hefty, I can barely lift these briefcases!
But it’s not about the money, it’s about literature. However, I should thank The Nobel Foundation for presenting me with the money. In unmarked bills.
I know that my novel has many critics, and that the decision to grant me this award sparked a good deal of controversy. In fact, I am not aware of the book receiving a single positive review. All the more stunning your — may I say it? — wise decision to honour my achievement.
Most critics point to the book’s ending as flawed — the ending in which the judges simply give in to the demands of the writer-terrorist, and award him the Nobel Prize in Literature — calling it “unrealistic” and “an insane fantasy.”
Tonight, you have proven those critics wrong.