1935 Nobel Prize in Literature
"in the field of literature, produced the most outstanding work in an idealistic direction".
LocationStockholm, Sweden
Presented bySwedish Academy
First awarded1901
Currently held bynone
WebsiteOfficial website
← 1934 · Nobel Prize in Literature · 1936 →

The 1935 Nobel Prize in Literature was not awarded after the Swedish Academy decided that no author in the field of literature was a suitable candidate.[1] Hence, the prize money for this year was 13 allocated to the Main Fund and 23 to the Special Fund of this prize section.[2]



Despite no author(s) being awarded for the 1935 prize, numerous literary critics, societies and academics still sent nominations to the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy. In total, the Nobel Committee received 52 nominations for 38 authors like Frans Eemil Sillanpää (awarded in 1939), Johannes V. Jensen (awarded in 1944), Paul Valéry, Dmitry Merezhkovsky, Roger Martin du Gard (awarded in 1937) and H. G. Wells.[3]

Fourteen of the nominees were newly recommended for the prize such as Shaul Tchernichovsky, Miguel de Unamuno, Jules Romains, John Masefield, Elise Richter, Edvarts Virza, Víctor Manuel Rendón, Émile Mâle, James Cousins and Gilbert Keith Chesterton. There were five women nominees: Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, Violet Clifton, Ricarda Huch, Maria Madalena de Martel Patrício and Elise Richter.[3]

The authors Henri Barbusse, Ioan Bianu, Arthur Hoey Davis (known as Steele Rudd), Clarence Day, Ella Loraine Dorsey, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Anna Katharine Green, Kaitarō Hasegawa, Mary R. P. Hatch, Louise Manning Hodgkins, Winifred Holtby, Panait Istrati, James Leslie Mitchell (known as Lewis Grassic Gibbon), Violet Paget (known as Vernon Lee), Fernando Pessoa, Lizette Woodworth Reese, George William Russell, Tsubouchi Shōyō, Kurt Tucholsky, William Watson and Stanley G. Weinbaum died in 1935 without having been nominated for the prize.

Official list of nominees and their nominators for the prize
No. Nominee Country Genre(s) Nominator(s)
1 Rufino Blanco Fombona (1874–1944)  Venezuela essays, literary criticism Several professors from American universities
2 Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (1874–1938)  Yugoslavia novel, short story Gavro Manojlović (1856–1939)
3 Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936)  United Kingdom philosophy, theology, essays, literary criticism, novel, short story, poetry Torsten Fogelqvist (1880–1941)
4 Violet Clifton (1883–1961)  United Kingdom biography, essays Nevill Coghill (1899–1980)
5 António Correia de Oliveira (1878–1960)  Portugal poetry
  • Alfredo Carneiro da Cunha (1863–1942)
  • Luís da Cunha Gonçalvez (1875–1956)
6 James Cousins (1873–1956)  Ireland
 British India
poetry, drama, essays, literary criticism Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941)
7 Karel Čapek (1890–1938)  Czechoslovakia drama, novel, short story, essays, literary criticism
8 Maria Madalena de Martel Patrício (1884–1947)  Portugal poetry, essays Bento Carqueja (1860–1935)
9 Miguel de Unamuno (1864–1936)  Spain novel, poetry, philosophy, essays, drama Esteban Madruga Jiménez (1890–1980)
10 Roger Martin du Gard (1881–1958)  France novel, drama, memoir
11 Olav Duun (1876–1939)  Norway novel, short story
12 James George Frazer (1854–1941)  United Kingdom history, essays, translation Jarl Charpentier (1884–1935)
13 Franz Karl Ginzkey (1871–1963)  Austria poetry, short story, essays Hjalmar Hammarskjöld (1862–1953)
14 Vilhelm Grønbech (1873–1948)  Denmark history, essays, poetry Sven Lönborg (1871–1959)
15 Jarl Hemmer (1893–1944)  Finland poetry, novel Hjalmar Hammarskjöld (1862–1953)
16 Ricarda Huch (1864–1947)  Germany history, essays, novel, poetry Ernst Robert Curtius (1886–1956)
17 Johannes Vilhelm Jensen (1873–1950)  Denmark novel, short story, poetry
  • Vilhelm Andersen (1864–1953)
  • Johannes Brøndum-Nielsen (1881–1977)
  • Hans Brix (1870–1961)
  • Carl Adolf Bodelsen (1894–1978)
18 Guðmundur Kamban (1888–1945)  Iceland novel, drama Bengt Hesselman (1875–1952)
19 Rudolf Kassner (1873–1959)  Austria philosophy, essays, translation 6 professors of the University of Zurich
20 Erwin Guido Kolbenheyer (1878–1962)  Austria novel, short story, poetry, drama Hans-Friedrich Rosenfeld (1899–1993)
21 Sven Lönborg (1871–1959)  Sweden philosophy, history, pedagogy, essays Emil Rodhe (1863–1936)
22 John Masefield (1878–1967)  United Kingdom poetry, drama, novel, short story, essays, autobiography Anders Österling (1884–1981)
23 Émile Mâle (1862–1954)  France history Emil Rodhe (1863–1936)
24 Dmitry Merezhkovsky (1865–1941)  Soviet Union novel, essays, poetry, drama Sigurd Agrell (1881–1937)
25 Eugene O'Neill (1888–1953)  United States drama Martin Lamm (1880–1950)
26 Kostis Palamas (1859–1943)  Greece poetry, essays
27 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888–1975)  India philosophy, essays, law Hjalmar Hammarskjöld (1862–1953)
28 Víctor Manuel Rendón (1859–1940)  Ecuador novel, poetry, drama, biography, essays, translation Celiano Monge Navarrete (1856–1940)
29 Elise Richter (1865–1943)  Austria philology
  • Antonin Duraffour (1879–1956)
  • Carlo Tagliavini (1903–1982)
30 Jules Romains (1885–1972)  France poetry, drama, screenplay Fredrik Böök (1883–1961)
31 Frans Eemil Sillanpää (1888–1964)  Finland novel, short story, poetry
32 Hermann Stehr (1864–1940)  Germany novel, short story, poetry, drama Hermann August Korff (1882–1963)
33 Dezső Szabó (1879–1945)  Hungary novel, essays Björn Collinder (1894–1983)
34 Shaul Tchernichovsky (1875–1943)  Soviet Union
 Mandatory Palestine
poetry, essays, translation Joseph Klausner (1874–1958)
35 Paul Valéry (1871–1945)  France poetry, philosophy, essays, drama
36 Edvarts Virza (1883–1940)  Latvia poetry, essays, translation
  • Francis Balodis (1882–1947)
  • Ludis Bērzin̦š (1870–1965)
37 Herbert George Wells (1866–1946)  United Kingdom novel, short story, essays, history, biography Sigfrid Siwertz (1882–1970)
38 Tadeusz Stefan Zieliński (1859–1944)  Poland philology, history, translation, essays Several professors at the University of Warsaw

Prize decision

In 1935, the Nobel Committee shortlisted the authors Karel Čapek, Miguel de Unamuno, John Masefield, Gilbert Keith Chesterton and Roger Martin du Gard for the Nobel Prize in Literature. During the deliberations, Čapek was dismissed for political reasons[c]; De Unamuno, considered as one of the Spanish existentialist writers, was dismissed for his abstract ideas in his literary oeuvres; Masefield was dismissed for his uneven works; Du Gard was praised for his The Thibaults, but the committee decided to wait for its other volumes; and Chesterton, though praised by the committee for his English poems, was dismissed for "doubts over the religious non-fictional works like Saint Francis of Assisi and the biography of Jesus".[4] Without Chesterton's religious publications, the succeeding committee members believed he could have won the Nobel for that year. With the aforementioned evaluations, it was decided that no Nobel Prize will be given in the Literature category.[5][page needed][4]


  1. ^ All eight were professors of history of literature at the University of Prague, Czechoslovakia.
  2. ^ Three professors of literature and/or history from the University of Athens, Greece.
  3. ^ Nobel committee member Per Hallström, being a supporter of Nazism at the time, thought Karl Čapek's writings against anti-semitism and the Nazi movement was "unacceptable and unwelcoming". Hallström then convinced his fellow committee members to not award him and any other writers against Adolf Hitler.[4]


  1. ^ "Why was no Nobel Prize for Literature awarded in 1935?". history.stackexchange.com. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  2. ^ The Nobel Prize in Literature 1935 nobelprize.org
  3. ^ a b Nomination archive – Literature 1935 nobelprize.org
  4. ^ a b c The Nobel Prize in Literature: Nominations and Reports 1901–1950 nobelprize.org
  5. ^ Gustav Källstrand Andens Olympiska Spel: Nobelprisets historia, Fri Tanke 2021