WHEN THE NOBEL PRIZE BECOMES IGNOBLE

Written by Uyen Le-Khuc

On Friday (May 4), the Swedish Academy confirmed that the winner for the Nobel Prize in Literature will not be revealed this autumn – instead, two laureates will be revealed in 2019. This is a move decided upon after crowds of protestors roared against the unprecedented sex abuse scandal of Jean-Claude Arnault, a photographer and leading cultural figure in Sweden, and husband to poet Katarina Frostenson, an academy member and author. The couple owns the Forum, a well-known cultural centre in Stockholm that has received funding from the academy. Initially, Arnault was reported to have groped, harassed or assaulted at least 18 women over more than 20 years, and leaked the names of seven Nobel literature laureates, thus illegally profiting bookmakers who wage money on who will win. However, what sparked the public’s ire was how the academy turned a blind eye on the scandal, refused to expel Frosterson and demoted Danius, the first woman to ever hold the post of permanent secretary. This led to the resignation of several academy members and even Frosterman herself. Really, not a very progressive move, Swedish Academy!

 

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