banquet speech after his award
our majesties, your royal highnesses, honored laureates,
ladies and gentlemen:
one of the things that happen to people who get the nobel prize, is that they also get a lot of media attention. many interviews, too many, so many that i began to feel now that i've lost the capacity for spontaneous thought i need the questions and since there not going to be my questions now, i thought i would began the two minute speech which is meat to be light, like the old fashion comedian, the man you know to whom things happened on the way to the studio.
well then. something happened to me, on the wayto stockholm:
the strap of my wristwatch broke, and for some surreal moments i found myself looking at my watch on the floor of the plane. this is no metaphor, here is the strapless watch. what did it mean? what was the awful symbolism? the fact that all through, this grand nobel week, i was to be without my watch. the great caesar landing in egypt fell flat on his face in the wet shore. you can imagine the consternation of his officers, until the great and resourceful man shouted, africa i've got you! some centuries later, the emperor julian, training one morning with his soldiers, lost the wicker part of his shield, he was left holding only the grip or the handle. how terrible for everybody until the emperor shouted, what i have i hold!
not having the resourcefulness of these great men, i could find no words to make the bad symbolism good, until tonight, when i understood, that time was to stop for me, during this nobel week, and that when it began again it will be truly new. now my strapless watch benign again, tells me without threat-that my time is running out, my two minutes are up.