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William Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949. Alfred Nobel stated in 1895 that the Nobel Prize shall be given to
the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction.
Therefore, Faulkner was awarded his Nobel Prize based upon the following, as denoted by the Nobel Prize committee:
his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.
Faulkner refused the award based upon him as a man and dedicated the award to his work alone. Faulkner stated that he refused to accept the award based upon the fact that man was not meant to endure only, man was to prevail.
Faulkner believed it was a writer's duty to write about the things he was honored for: compassion, sacrifice, and endurance.
This all being said, Faulkner did not receive the Nobel Prize for one singular text. Instead, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his complete works which served to support the honor as a whole.
The Nobel Prize for literature is given for a body of work, not a single work, however, the Pulitzer Prize for literature is given yearly for a single work.
Faulkner won the Pulitzer late in his career for two novels: A Fable and The Reivers. Neither of these is considered to be one of his masterpieces.
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