No Nobel Prize In Literature This Year: Swedish Academy

14 May, 2018, 04:16 | Author: Wilson Dawson
  • No Nobel prize for literature to be awarded this year says Swedish Academy

The organisation that decides the Nobel Prize for Literature has said it will not announce an award this year, after it was engulfed in a scandal over sexual assault allegations.

The Swedish Academy announced Friday that it would not hand out the Nobel Prize in Literature this year.

The scandals have threatened to undermine the credibility of the award and attracted unprecedented scrutiny of the Academy, a highly secretive body whose choices of prize victor fascinate and often baffle literature lovers the world over.

Dorotea Bromberg, of Swedish publishing house Brombergs, which has published four Nobel laureates, including JM Coetzee, said the academy's postponement "was a pity", but understood the reasoning.

"In principle, the Nobel Prize shall be awarded every year, but decisions on Nobel Prizes have been postponed on a number of occasions during the history of the prizes".

In this December 11, 2011 photo, Swedish Academy member Katarina Frostenson and husband Jean Claude Arnault attend the Kings Nobel dinner at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

In what could well be literature's #metoo moment, Claude-Arnault has been accused not just of using his stature in the cultural world and influence in the Academy to solicit sexual favours but also of revealing names of seven former Nobel laureates, charges he has denied.

According to Anders Olsson, interim permanent secretary of the academy."The active members of the Swedish Academy are of course fully aware that the present crisis of confidence places high demands on a long-term and robust work for change". Some members also quit over Frostenson staying on board, per the Times.


In a statement, the academy said it needed to "regain confidence in its work, before the next Literature Prize victor is declared".

MAYER: Heikensten says it's up to the academy to make things right, but he would like to see a younger, more diverse membership.

A plaque depicting Alfred Nobel at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony 2008 in Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2008 in Oslo, Norway.

Last November, French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, who ran a cultural project with funding from the Swedish Academy, was accused of sexual assault by 18 women.

A debate over how to face up to its flaws also divided its 18 members, who are appointed for life, into hostile camps. Arnault was also accused of leaking the name of the victor in advance at least three times. This time, it is the Nobel Prize in Literature, which has been postponed for the first time since the Second World War because of a sexual assault scandal.

The last time the institution delayed a prize announcement was in 1949. "The crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize".

Next year won't be the first time that two prizes have been awarded in a single year. Recent winners include Doris Lessing, Kazuo Ishiguro and Bob Dylan. For example, American playwright Eugene O'Neill was given the 1936 award in 1937.

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