No 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, Panel Says Amid Sex Scandal

In November, a Swedish newspaper reported that 18 girls mentioned that they had been sexually assaulted or harassed by Jean-Claude Arnault, who’s intently tied to the Swedish Academy and is accused of utilizing his stature in the humanities world to attempt to coerce girls into intercourse. Other allegations towards him emerged later, together with a report that Mr. Arnault had groped Sweden’s crown princess, Victoria.

Through his lawyer, he has denied the entire allegations.

Mr. Arnault, a photographer, is married to a member of the academy, Katarina Frostenson; is an in depth pal to different members; and is co-owner, with Ms. Frostenson, of Forum, a cultural heart in Stockholm that acquired funding from the academy. Some occasions have been mentioned to have occurred at academy-owned properties in Stockholm and Paris, and at the least one lady’s complaints to the academy about Mr. Arnault greater than 20 years in the past have been rebuffed.

The disaster escalated when the academy dismissed one other member, Sara Danius, as its everlasting secretary, the group’s chief official — the primary lady to carry that submit — although she remained a part of the panel. She had severed the group’s ties with Mr. Arnault and Forum, and commissioned an investigation of the academy from a regulation agency.

Her demotion prompted mass protests by critics who said that a woman had suffered for the misdeeds of a man, and that Ms. Danius had been punished for attempting to introduce openness and accountability to a bunch that most well-liked to shut ranks.

[Read more about the Swedish Academy’s crisis here.]

In sensible phrases, the academy was ready to stay to its standard schedule, winnowing potential laureates to a shortlist by summer season and anointing a prize winner in October, its appearing everlasting secretary, Anders Olsson, instructed Swedish Radio on Friday. “But confidence in the academy from the world around us has sunk drastically in the past half year,” he mentioned, “and that is the decisive reason that we are postponing the prize.”

The determination to not award the literature prize this 12 months “is a sensational piece of news, but it was the only possible decision,” Bjorn Wiman, tradition editor of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, instructed Swedish Radio. “It wasn’t possible under these conditions to appoint a winner. It would have been an insult to anyone who received it.”

Some of the academy’s 18 members resigned over Ms. Frostenson’s continued membership, and a number of other extra stop over the therapy of Ms. Danius. That left the group with 10 lively members — too few, below its guidelines, to elect new members.

But academy appointments are for all times, and till this week, the group’s guidelines didn’t present for resignations; it considered those that stop as members who had grow to be inactive, however couldn’t get replaced.

On Wednesday, King Carl XVI Gustaf, the academy’s patron, who mentioned he had adopted the matter “with great concern,” introduced that he had modified the academy’s guidelines to permit members to go away, and to permit the panel to exchange any member who had been inactive for 2 years. It was a uncommon intervention by the monarch, whose position is generally ceremonial.

Mr. Olsson mentioned: “We are bringing in legal expertise and we are going to get better at what we do. We must vote in new members, and fast.” He promised elevated transparency, and “more and better dialogue” with the royal courtroom and the Nobel Foundation.

After assembly on Thursday, members of the academy had voiced optimism that the prize could possibly be awarded in October, as standard.

“I see it as self-evident that we are still capable of awarding the prize,” Kristina Lugn, a panel member, instructed Dagens Nyheter. “We have a short nomination list with five candidates left. If we can’t do this then I think everyone should resign.”

Such feedback increase the likelihood that the Nobel Foundation might need pressured the Swedish Academy to alter its place.

“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,” Mr. Heldin, the muse chairman mentioned, “and that the academy will report the concrete actions that are undertaken.”

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