1957 Nobel Prize in Literature
Albert Camus
"for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times."
  • 17 October 1957 (announcement)
  • 10 December 1957
Presented bySwedish Academy
First awarded1901
WebsiteOfficial website
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The 1957 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded the French writer Albert Camus (1913–1960) "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times."[1] He is the ninth French author to become a recipient of the prize after Catholic novelist François Mauriac in 1952, and the fourth philosopher after British analytic philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1950.

Aged 44 when he received the prize, Camus is the second youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, after only Rudyard Kipling (41).[2]


Main article: Albert Camus

Camus made his debut as a writer in 1937, but his breakthrough came with the novel L’étranger ("The Stranger"), published in 1942. It concerns the absurdity of life, a theme he returns to in other books, including his philosophical work Le mythe de Sisyphe ("The Myth of Sisyphus", 1942). He also worked as a journalist and playwright with Caligula (1944), which received praises from theatre critics. Because of his friendship with Jean-Paul Sartre, Camus was labeled an existentialist, but he preferred not to be linked with any ideology. His other successful novels include La peste ("The Plague", 1947), La chute ("The Fall", 1956), and an unfinished autobiography, Le Premier homme ("The First Man"), was published posthumously.[3][4]



Albert Camus was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature on 11 occasions, the first time in 1949. He was nominated once in 1957 by a French professor of Anglo-Saxon language and literature from the Caen University, which he was awarded afterwards.[5]

In total, the Nobel committee received 66 nominations for 49 writers including Nikos Kazantzakis, E. M. Forster, Alberto Moravia, Georges Duhamel, Jules Romains, Ezra Pound, Saint-John Perse (awarded in 1960), Carlo Levi, Boris Pasternak (awarded in 1958) and Robert Frost.[6] 12 of the nominees were nominated first-time among them Jean-Paul Sartre (awarded in 1964), Lennox Robinson, Jan Parandowski, Samuel Beckett (awarded in 1969), Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, André Chamson, Väinö Linna and Carlo Levi. The nominee with the highest number of nominations – 4 nominations – was for André Malraux. Four of the nominees were women namely Gertrud von Le Fort, Karen Blixen, Henriette Charasson, and Maria Dąbrowska.

The authors Nurullah Ataç, Erich Auerbach, Arturo Barea, Ernst Bertram, Roy Campbell, Joyce Cary, José Lins do Rego, Alfred Döblin, Claude Farrère, Peter Freuchen, Rose Fyleman, Oliver St. John Gogarty, Sacha Guitry, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Eric Alfred Knudsen, Barbu Lăzăreanu, Wyndham Lewis, Malcolm Lowry, Mait Metsanurk, Christopher Morley, Gilbert Murray, Ralph Barton Perry, Clemente Rebora, Aleksey Remizov, Umberto Saba, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa died in 1957 without having been nominated for the prize. French poet Valery Larbaud died before the only chance to be rewarded.

Official list of nominees and their nominators for the prize
No. Nominee Country Genre(s) Nominator(s)
1 Mark Aldanov (1886–1957)  Ukraine
biography, novel, essays, literary criticism Samson Soloveitchik (1887–1974)
2 Riccardo Bacchelli (1891–1985)  Italy novel, drama, essays
  • Mario Fubini (1901–1977)
  • Alfredo Schiaffini (1895–1971)
  • Paolo Toschi (1893–1973)
3 Knuth Becker (1891–1974)  Denmark poetry, novel Sven Clausen (1893–1961)
4 Samuel Beckett (1906–1989)  Ireland novel, drama, poetry Robert-Léon Wagner (1905–1982)
5 Karen Blixen (1885–1962)  Denmark novel, short story, memoir
6 Albert Camus (1913–1960)  France
( Algeria)
novel, short story, essays, philosophy, drama Sylvère Monod (1921–2006)
7 André Chamson (1900–1983)  France novel, essays Jean-Baptiste Fort (?)
8 Henriette Charasson (1884–1972)  France poetry, essays, drama, novel, literary criticism, biography Serge Barrault (1887–1976)
9 Maria Dąbrowska (1889–1965)  Poland novel, short story, essays, drama, literary criticism Charles Hyatt (1931–2007)
10 Gonzague de Reynold (1880–1970)   Switzerland history, essays, biography, memoir Pierre-Henri Simon (1903–1972)
11 Henry de Montherlant (1895–1972)  France essays, novel, drama Eugène Napoleon Tigerstedt (1907–1979)
12 Georges Duhamel (1884–1966)  France novel, short story, poetry, drama, literary criticism André Plassart (1889–1978)
13 Mircea Eliade (1907–1986)  Romania
 United States
history, philosophy, essays, autobiography, novel, short story Ernest Koliqi (1903–1975)
14 Johan Falkberget (1879–1967)  Norway novel, short story, essays Norwegian Authors' Union
15 Lion Feuchtwanger (1884–1958)  Germany novel, drama Viktor Klemperer (1881–1960)
16 Edward Morgan Forster (1879–1970)  United Kingdom novel, short story, drama, essays, biography, literary criticism
17 Robert Frost (1874–1963)  United States poetry, drama The American PEN-Club
18 Jean Giono (1895–1970)  France novel, short story, essays, poetry, drama Robert-Léon Wagner (1905–1982)
19 Armand Godoy (1880–1964)  Cuba
poetry, translation
20 Hu Shih (1891–1962)  China essays, philosophy, history, poetry, pedagogy The Chinese PEN-Club
21 Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz (1894–1980)  Poland poetry, essays, drama, translation, short story, novel Charles Hyatt (1931–2007)
22 Nikos Kazantzakis (1883–1957)  Greece novel, philosophy, essays, drama, memoir, translation
23 Valery Larbaud (1881–1957)  France novel, poetry, literary criticism Pierre Costil (1901–1968)
24 Carlo Levi (1902–1975)  Italy memoir, novel, short story Mario Praz (1896–1892)
25 Väinö Linna (1920–1992)  Finland novel Rolf Lagerborg (1874–1959)
26 André Malraux (1901–1976)  France novel, essays, literary criticism
27 Gabriel Marcel (1889–1973)  France philosophy, drama Charles Dédéyan (1910–2003)
28 Ramón Menéndez Pidal (1869–1968)  Spain philology, history
  • Gunnar Tilander (1894–1973)
  • Hans Rheinfelder (1898–1971)
  • André Burger (1896–1985)
29 Alberto Moravia (1907–1990)  Italy novel, literary criticism, essays, drama Gennaro Perrotta (1900–1962)
30 Seán O'Casey (1880–1964)  Ireland drama, memoir Oscar Cargill (1898–1972)
31 Jan Parandowski (1895–1978)  Poland essays, translation Charles Hyatt (1931–2007)
32 Boris Pasternak (1890–1960)  Russia poetry, novel, translation Harry Martinson (1904–1978)
33 Saint-John Perse (1887–1975)  France poetry Dag Hammarskjöld (1905–1961)
34 Ezra Pound (1885–1972)  United States poetry, essays Ingvar Andersson (1899–1974)
35 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888–1975)  India philosophy, essays, law
36 Lennox Robinson (1886–1958)  Ireland drama, poetry The Irish PEN-Club
37 Jules Romains (1885–1972)  France poetry, drama, screenplay
38 Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980)  France philosophy, novel, drama, essays, screenplay Jacques Scherer (1912–1997)
39 Zalman Shneour (1887–1959)  Belarus
 United States
poetry, essays Simon Rawidowicz (1897–1957)
40 Ignazio Silone (1900–1978)  Italy novel, short story, essays, drama Gennaro Perrotta (1900–1962)
41 Stijn Streuvels (1871–1969)  Belgium novel, short story
42 Jules Supervielle (1884–1960)  France
poetry, novel, short story Maurice Le Boucher (1882–1964)
43 Herman Teirlinck (1879–1967)  Belgium novel, poetry, essays, drama
44 Frank Thiess (1890–1977)  Germany novel Kasimir Edschmid (1890–1966)
45 Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1889–1975)  United Kingdom history, philosophy Claude Backvis (1910–1998)
46 George Macauley Trevelyan (1876–1962)  United Kingdom biography, autobiography, essays, history Elias Wessén (1889–1981)
47 Tarjei Vesaas (1897–1970)  Norway poetry, novel Sigmund Skard (1903–1995)
48 Simon Vestdijk (1898–1971)  Netherlands novel, poetry, essays, translation The Belgian PEN-Club
49 Gertrud von Le Fort (1876–1971)  Germany novel, short story, essays, poetry Poetry Department of the Prussian Academy of Arts

Award ceremony speech

Camus in Stockholm for the Nobel Prize

In his award ceremony speech on 10 December 1957 Anders Österling, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said of Camus:

"Active and highly creative, Camus is in the centre of interest in the literary world, even outside of France. Inspired by an authentic moral engagement, he devotes himself with all his being to the great fundamental questions of life, and certainly this aspiration corresponds to the idealistic end for which the Nobel Prize was established. Behind his incessant affirmation of the absurdity of the human condition is no sterile negativism. This view of things is supplemented in him by a powerful imperative, a nevertheless, an appeal to the will which incites to revolt against absurdity and which, for that reason, creates a value."[7]


  1. ^ "Nobel Prize in Literature 1957". nobelprize.org.
  2. ^ "Camus and his women". The Guardian. 15 October 1997.
  3. ^ "Albert Camus". Britannica.
  4. ^ Albert Camus – Facts nobelprize.org
  5. ^ "Albert Camus Nomination archive". nobelprize.org.
  6. ^ "Nomination archive". nobelprize.org. April 2020.
  7. ^ "Award Ceremony speech". nobelprize.org.