Thursday, 18 November 2010
On this day...Socialist playwright George Bernard Shaw refused to accept the monetary award for his Nobel Prize in 1925. The only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar, Shaw was nominated for 'his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty'.
In accordance with his leftist ideologies, Shaw had no desire for public honours, and wanted to refuse the Prize outright. At the behest of his wife however, who considered it to be a tribute to Ireland, he reluctantly accepted it, yet still eschewed the 800,000 Swedish Kroner or there abouts. In announcing his decision Shaw said, 'I can forgive Alfred Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize'.