The Swedish Academy and the Illusions of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Nobel Prize in jeopardy over sex scandal

The Swedish Academy which decides the Nobel Prize for Literature said it would not make the award this year because of a sexual misconduct scandal that has caused turmoil in its ranks and led to the resignation of a string of board members. This year's literature laureate will be announced in 2019, the academy said.

On May 4, the Stockholm-based organization that hands out the prize said its 2018 victor will be announced next year along with the 2019 victor.

Yesterday morning the Swedish Academy published an official statement in which they announced the King will not hand out a Nobel Prize.

Heldin says the academy's decision underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize. However, this year's other Nobel Prizes will be awarded as usual.

Arnault is the husband of Katarina Frostenson, an academy member before she stepped down.

The cancellation comes as the organisation are still dealing with the sexual assault accusation.

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.

In a statement on its website, the academy said: "The present decision was arrived at in view of the now diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy".

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Olsson said that the academy was working to find new members and new forms for its work internally and externally. Its inception followed the death of Alfred Nobel in 1896.

The Swedish Academy's annual meeting at the Stock Exchange Building in Stockholm, December 20, 2017.

The prize has been postponed or cancelled only a handful of times, for instance during World War Two. The academy is involved only in the literature award, so other Nobel Prizes are not affected.

The Swedish Academy gives unprecedented power and authority to its members.

A debate over how to face up to its flaws also divided its 18 members - who are appointed for life - into hostile camps and prompted seven members of the prestigious institution to leave or disassociate themselves from the secretive group.

BOGAARDS: So there would not be a determine made on the part of publishers to hold back a book because the Nobel Prize is not going to be awarded in 2018.

Arnault, a French photographer who has attended many Swedish Academy events, faces multiple claims of sexual assault and harassment, first reported in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter late previous year. Recent winners include Never Let Me Go author Kazuo Ishiguro and musician Bob Dylan.

"The Nobel Foundation presumes that the Swedish Academy will now put all its efforts into the task of restoring its credibility as a prize-awarding institution and that the Academy will report the concrete actions that are undertaken". American playwright Eugene O'Neill was awarded the 1936 prize a year later, in 1937, at the same time as that year's victor received his prize.

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