Count Maurice (Mooris) Polidore Marie Bernhard Maeterlinck
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1911
Belgian writer in French. Lawyer. Many-sided literary activities. Dramatic works distinguished by a wealth of imagination. Poetic fancy. Reveals deep inspiration. Appeals to readers' own feelings, stimulates their imaginations.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough.
- Each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past.
- Samuel Goldwyn, Film Maker, asked Maeterlinck to produce a few scenarios for film. Only two of Maeterlinck's submissions still exist; Goldwyn didn't use any of them. Maeterlinck had prepared one based on his book ‘The Life of the Bee’. After reading the first few pages Goldwyn burst out of his office, exclaiming: "My God! The hero is a bee!"
- An act of goodness is of itself an act of happiness. No reward coming after the event can compare with the sweet reward that went with it.
- The truth that seems discouraging does in reality only transform the courage of those strong enough to accept it; and, in any event, a truth that disheartens, because it is true, is still of far more value than the most stimulating of falsehoods.
- I know that you are looking for the Blue Bird, that is to say, the great secret of things and of happiness, so that Man may make our servitude still harder. ...I do not hear the Animals... Where are they?... All this concerns them as much as us... We, the Trees, must not assume the responsibility alone for the grave measures that have become necessary... On the day when Man hears that we have done what we are about to do, there will be terrible reprisals... It is right, therefore, that our agreement should be unanimous, so that our silence may be the same.
- All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than the animals that know nothing. A day will come when science will turn upon its error and no longer hesitate to shorten our woes. A day will come when it will dare and act with certainty; when life, grown wiser, will depart silently at its hour, knowing that it has reached its term.
- I knew that if I was captured by the Germans I would be shot at once, since I have always been counted as an enemy of Germany because of my play, Le Bourgmestre de Stillemonde, which dealt with the conditions in Belgium during the German Occupation of 1918.
- The future is a world limited by ourselves; in it we discover only what concerns us and, sometimes, by chance, what interests those whom we love the most.
- We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet: and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us.
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Name: Count Maurice (Mooris) Polidore Marie Bernhard Maeterlinck
Birth: 29 August 1862, Ghent, Belgium
Death: 6 May 1949, Nice, France
Residence at the time of the award: Belgium
Prize motivation: "in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers' own feelings and stimulate their imaginations"
Field: Drama, Prose