There will be no Nobel Prize for Literature in 2018 as a result of a sexual scandal involving the husband of a member of the Swedish Academy.
And the reason for the cancelling of the prestigious awards ceremony in 2018 is hinged on a sexual scandal involving the husband of a member of the Swedish Academy.
The 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature will not hold as expected by literary giants and the world at large.
And the reason for the cancelling of the prestigious awards ceremony in 2018 is hinged on a sexual scandal involving the husband of a member of the Swedish Academy - The Academy is responsible for awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature with provision of prize money by the Nobel Foundation since 1901.
The crisis revolves around the Swedish Academy’s handling of its connections to
Jean-Claude Arnault, who is married to a Swedish Academy member, Katarina Frostenson was accused of sexually harassing women during the prestigious culture venue Forum in Stockholm between 1996 and 2017.
Frostenson had since resigned from the Swedish Academy on April 14, 2018 after the scandal broke in the media.
One of the women, who is also an author, Gabriella Håkansson had narrated how Arnault harassed her during the forum.
”He didn’t say many words before he grabbed me between my legs, and did a pussy grab. It was like he was digging. Nothing motivated the incident, and there had been no flirtation or touch. I just found a hand up my crotch,” Håkansson reportedly told Dagens Nyheter.
In another development, Arnault was accused of allegedly leaking names of Nobel Prize Literature laureates before they were officially announced for many years.
The scandal had thrown the Swedish Academy off its balance as many had blamed the leadership of Permanent Secretary Sara Danius for poorly handling the scandal.
From Sara Danius to Katarina Frostenson, Peter Englund, Kjell Espmark, Sara Stridsberg and writer Klas Östergren have all resigned from the Swedish Academy, hence leaving the academy to cancel the prestigious culture venue Forum in Stockholm in 2018.
The Swedish Academy intends to decide on and announce the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 in parallel with the naming of the 2019 laureate. Seven times previously, the Swedish Academy has chosen to declare a “reserved prize”: in 1915, 1919, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1936 and 1949. On five of those occasions, the prize was delayed then awarded at the same time as the following year’s prize.
The present decision was arrived at in view of the currently diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy. Work on the selection of a laureate is at an advanced stage and will continue as usual in the months ahead but the Academy needs time to regain its full complement, engage a larger number of active members and regain confidence in its work, before the next Literature Prize winner is declared.
The active members of the Swedish Academy are in agreement that, without compromising the Academy’s purpose and to retain respect for its unique historical legacy, the Academy’s operative practices need to be evolved. The Academy has therefore newly begun a comprehensive work of change. One of the purposes is to modernise the interpretation of the Academy’s statutes, principally the question of resignation of membership. In addition, routines will be tightened regarding conflict-of-interest issues and the management of information classified as secret. Further, internal work arrangements and external communication will be refreshed.
“The active members of the Swedish Academy are of course fully aware that the present crisis of confidence places high demands on a long-term and robust work for change. We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the Academy before the next laureate can be announced. This, out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation, and the general public,” says Anders Olsson, interim Permanent Secretary.
At least, four African writers have been honoured at the Nobel Prize for Literature since it began in 1901 and the literary ceremony has been cancelled seven times in the past. In 1935, the ceremony was cancelled because the Academy could not find a suitable candidate. The last time it was cancelled was in 1949.
Here are the past African winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature:
Nigerian playwright and political activist, Wole Soyinka was the first African to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. Soyinka was recognized for “applying a wide cultural perspective and poetic overtones to fashions the drama of existence.”
In 1988, Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for ” works rich in nuance – now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous” that have ” formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind”. Mahfouz, who was regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature, passed away in 2006.
Nadine Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 and became the third African to win the prize in recognition of her epic writing that has been tagged a great benefit to humanity.
John Maxwell Coetzee
In 2003, another South African, John Maxwell Coetzee, won the Nobel Prize for Literature where he was recognized as a writer “who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider.”