JERUSALEM (Oct. 18)
Kol Israel radio announced today that S.Y. Agnon, the Israeli Hebrew writer, has been awarded the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature. The broadcast said the official announcement will be made Thursday by the Swedish Royal Academy, at Stockholm.
Mr. Agnon is Israel’s foremost classical writer who has served as a link between the Hebrew literature of this generation and the vast expanse of Hebrew literature of earlier periods. The emphasis in his writings is on exile, and he is known as a narrator of the spiritual tumult and drama of the return to Zion.
Born in Galicia in 1888, he came to Palestine in 1909, and settled in Jerusalem. He has widely inspired the younger generation of Hebrew writers, particularly with his books, "Etmol Shilshom" and "Hachnassat Kala."
The award was considered not only as a tribute to the foremost Hebrew writer but also one to Israeli literature in general.
Premier Levi Eshkol sent his congratulations to Mr. Agnon, and Education Minister Zalman Aranne called at the writer’s home. Mr. Agnon remained calm, despite his evident surprise, saying: "I absolutely did not expect it."
Some of the Nobel Prize winner’s writings have been translated into a number of foreign languages. However, he became more widely known to the world when most of his works were published last year by West Germany’s Fisher Verlag. It was reported that the West German firm also dealt with technical aspects of the Hebrew writer’s candidacy for the award.