Severe crisis

Severe crisis

Medal with the portrait of Alfred Nobel © Kay Nietfeld

This year the Nobel Prize for Literature will not be awarded. Reason: The selection committee no longer has a quorum since several members resigned after a dispute over corruption and sexual assault.

The Swedish Academy has decided to postpone the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature and award it next year, the Nobel Prize Foundation announced Friday in Stockholm. The decision not to award the prize this year ensures the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize, the statement continued.

Sexual harassment in 18 cases?

In recent weeks, the Swedish Academy has been plunged into a serious crisis: At the center of the scandal is the operator of the "Cultural Forum" in Stockholm, Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of academy member Katarina Frostenson, who has since also resigned. He is accused of sexual harassment in 18 cases.

The "cultural forum" that he led together with the poet Frostenson was financially supported by the Academy.

Dispute over handling of corruption

Most recently, the selection panel lacked a quorum after several of its 18 members, including permanent secretary Sara Danius, resigned. The background to this is a dispute about how to deal with allegations of corruption and sexual assault within the ranks of the academy.

Postponing the prize, which is awarded annually, is justified if the credibility of the prize is at stake, he says. This has already happened several times in the history of the prize, the foundation said.

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