No Nobel Prize In Literature This Year
Sexual assault scandals are raging not only in Hollywood. One of them descended over the Swedish Academy responsible for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Due to the need to "commit time to recovering public confidence" no prize is going to be awarded in 2018.
This is the first time since 1949 when the laureate of the most prestigious literary award will not be revealed in October. However, the Academy promises to announce two laureates of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2019.
The background of the scandal centers around Jean-Claude Arnault, a well-known public figure and photographer in Sweden who is married to Katarina Frostenson, an academy member and author. 18 women have accused him of sexual assaults and harassment during past 20 years, including in the properties owned by the Academy.
The scandal was followed by resignation of three members of the Academy, though technically the members are appointed for life and have no right to resign. They were followed by Frostenson herself and the permanent secretary. King Carl XVI Gustaf had to announce the changes to its statute and ensure its survival, as the body was left with only 10 active members.
“We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence ... before the next laureate can be announced,” its interim permanent secretary Anders Olsson said. “This is out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation and the general public.”
Since the launch of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1901, it has not been awarded only seven times, mainly due to World Wars or a lack of suitable winners. But never due to a scandal.
Last year the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”