Chronicling Human Existence in “Faithful and Virtuous Night” by Louise Glück
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In 2020, Canadian poet Louise Glück was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for her “unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.” This thesis aims to take the Nobel committee’s motivation as a leading premise in an exploration of Glück’s poetic work, particularly her 2014 poem “Faithful and Virtuous Night.” The research question of the thesis, “how does Louise Glück’s poetry make individual existence universal?” is therefore meant to analyse the fairness of the Nobel committee’s assessment. By examining scholarly material concerning the innovations of Glück’s her earlier work, the reader is familiarized with the quintessence of her poetry. Through close reading, an analysis of the aforementioned poem can be constructed to sustain the claim of the Nobel committee. This paper is meant to highlight how Glück approaches several issues of the human existence, which she also provides relief for.