Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
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Nobel Price In Literature 2018 Cancelled Over Alleged Sex Abuse

Nobel Price In Literature 2018 Cancelled Over Alleged Sex Abuse

"None of this impacts the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prizes in other prize categories", it said in a statement.

The foundation manages the assets endowed by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who created the literature prize and other awards in science and peace. And it is perhaps to be expected that of the various bodies which award Nobel Prizes, a sexual harassment scandal would kick off in a body which is (as with Hollywood) concerned with the arts, with their informal systems of patronage and back-scratching, rather than, say, regarding the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, in which one either has developed cryo-electron microscopy or one has not.

Below are key elements of the controversy and its consequences.

Bjorn Hurtig, the lawyer representing Arnault, has said his client denies the allegations. Another such investigation, regarding alleged assaults dating between March 2013 and April 2015, was dropped last month due to a lack of evidence and because for some the statute of limitations had passed. The crisis began when the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter published the testimonies of 18 women who said that they had been raped, sexually assaulted or harassed by the 71-year-old writer. Some of the incidents took place in properties that the academy owned.

The 2017 victor was Kazuo Ishiguro, the Japanese-born British author of "The Remains of the Day" and "Never Let Me Go".

The man has also been accused of leaking the Names of previous laureates.

The revelations caused deep rifts within the organization.

Swedish Academy has in the past funded Kulturplats, a culture centre run by Jean-Claude Arnault and Katarina Frostenson.

3 members of the 18-person jury had after the accusation resigned, protesting the decision not to expel Frostenson from the jury.


What followed was a wave of resignations, including Ms Frostenson and the head of the academy, Prof Sara Danius.

Yet now we have writer, journalist and academy member Per Wästberg describing the scandal as "a stain on the Academy's reputation which can not be cleaned off", and Bjorn Wiman, culture editor at Dagens Nyheter, stating "the public's trust for the academy is perhaps below rock bottom..." The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers. She did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

His Majesty the King has also reacted to the recent decision of the Swedish Academy. That has meant those who withdrew could not be replaced.

But the row has turned into a titillating public spectacle, with Swedish Academy members dealing ugly blows to one another in the media. Also, the Academy's Permanent Secretary has left her post.

Other changes are likely in store.

The Academy said it will now announce the 2018 victor along with the 2019 victor.

Anders Olsson, the acting permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, announces that the Swedish Academy postpones the award of 2018 Nobel literature prize, during an interview to the Swedish newsagency TT News Agency, in Stockholm, Sweden.

The last time the literature prize was postponed was in 1943 at the height of World War II. "We have decided not to award a prize after long and intense discussions".

The biggest risk by far is to the reputation of the prize, which has come to be seen as one of the most important global honours in the field of literature.

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