Poet-related Theme Park/Nobel Prize Archives – Poetry News Roundup January 22nd January

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at the planned theme park for a poet and the Nobel prize archives released after 50 years.

A Theme Park For a Poet

Forget Disneyland, Russia have recently announced plans for a theme park with a difference. They are planning a theme park inspired by the novelist and poet Alexander Pushkin. The park, which they are hoping will open in 2023, will be located in St Petersburg and based around Lukomorye the imaginary land that can be found in the poem Ruslan and Ludmila.

The designers are promising somewhere that will be magical, where people can step into the magic of Pushkin’s fairy tales in a thoroughly modern way. There will be attractions and experiences that will be based on the palace, harbour and city that are described by Pushkin in his tales. There will also be a fairy-tale forest, a swan lake and even a funfair market. With immersive walkthroughs that will be based on the life of Pushkin.

As far as literary-themed parks go there are not that many. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the one that springs to mind, and there is the Harper Lee Trail that is being planned, and Sweden has Astrid Lindgren World – but this one is certainly promising something a little different, and the developers are claiming this one will be spectacular and immersive.

The working name of the project is Pushkinlandia – whether this will remain in place is not certain.

Archives Reveal Fight Over Nobel Prize Winner

Archives relating to the Noble prize awards remain sealed until 50 years after each decision. Now, the archives relating to Samuel Beckett and his 1969 Nobel prize for Literature win have been unsealed and they contain interesting information.

The papers suggest that the committee had some serious doubts over the idea of awarding the prize to Beckett, an author they believe had “bottomless contempt for the human condition”, and who he believed did not meet the criteria a person in the field of literature as defined by the will of Alfred Nobel.

No shortlist of candidates is ever published for the Nobel prize. Other potentials to win are simply speculations from those within the field, however, these papers indicate that other names being considered were Simone de Beauvoir, Pablo Neruda, Graham Green and Jorge Luis Borges.

Previously released papers show that Beckett, although suggested for the prize in 1968, was rejected by the committee.

The speech that year awarding the prize was not given by the chair of the committee and whilst Beckett accepted, he did not attend the award ceremony in Stockholm, nor did he prepare a winners lecture as is the tradition.

This wasn’t the first time that the committee had been divided over their decision regarding the winner, nor will it be the last. This year’s decision to award the Nobel prize for Literature to Peter Handke brought a lot of disagreements and unlike previous years the judges were quite vocal about this in public.

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