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 Noble Prize Acceptence Speech 

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I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work a life's work in the agony agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist exist before. So this award is only mine in trust. It will not be difficult to find a dedication dedication for the money part of it commensurate commensurate with the purpose and significance of its origin. But I would like to do the same with the acclaim acclaim too, by using this moment as a pinnacle pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and women already dedicated dedicated to the same anguish anguish and travail, travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand where I am standing. standing.

Our tragedy tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained sustained by now that we can even bear bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up blown up Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony agony and the sweat.

He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: afraid: and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking lacking which any story is ephemeral ephemeral and doomed love and honor and pity and pride and compassion compassion and sacrifice. sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. compassion. His griefs griefs grieve grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.

Until he learns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man. I decline decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal immortal because he will endure: endure: that when the last ding dong of doom has clanged and faded faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely merely endure: endure: he will prevail. prevail. He is immortal, immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable capable of compassion compassion and sacrifice sacrifice and endurance. endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege privilege to help man endure endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion compassion and pity and sacrifice sacrifice which have been the glory glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure endure and prevail. prevail.

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