2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

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John F
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2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

Post by John F » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:05 pm

It's not out of embarrassment over last year's award to Bob Dylan, but an essentially external matter. The 2018 prize is to be awarded next year along with the 2019 prize.

Sex Abuse Scandal’s Latest Casualty: The 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature
By Christina Anderson and Richard Pérez-Peña
May 4, 2018

STOCKHOLM — A cultural impresario, accused of using his influence to coerce women into having sex. Powerful associates who are said to have covered for him, playing down his misconduct or looking the other way. Newly emboldened victims, who have come forward with accounts of his misbehavior. These elements of scandal, by now familiar in the #MeToo era, claimed an unusual casualty on Friday: The Nobel Prize in Literature, the world’s most prestigious accolade for writing.

The Swedish Academy, the 232-year-old panel of writers and scholars that has conferred the prize since 1901, announced that it would take the extraordinary step of postponing this year’s award until next year, when it will name two winners — something it has not done since delaying the 1949 prize, bestowed on William Faulkner in 1950.

The academy said it would focus on rebuilding public trust, on restoring a reputation tarnished by a wide-ranging scandal that has divided Sweden’s normally consensual society and even drawn in the royal family as unwitting players. The academy is involved only in the literature award, so other Nobel Prizes are not affected.

At the center of the scandal is Jean-Claude Arnault, a 71-year-old photographer with close ties to the academy stretching over three decades. Mr. Arnault is married to a member of the academy, the poet Katarina Frostenson, and is a close friend of other members. The couple owns the Forum, a well-known cultural center in Stockholm that received funding from the academy.

In November, the newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported that he had groped, harassed or assaulted at least 18 women over the years. Accusers said that Mr. Arnault used his sway in the arts world, including his connections to the academy, to pressure young women into sex, and that some of his offenses took place at academy-owned properties in Stockholm and Paris.

One woman, the artist Anna-Karin Bylund, says she complained about to the academy in 1996 that Mr. Arnault had assaulted her, only to be rebuffed. Another woman, the novelist Gabriella Hakansson, says Mr. Arnault assaulted her in 2007. Just this week, it was reported that Mr. Arnault had groped Crown Princess Victoria, heir to Sweden’s throne. The police have opened an investigation; through his lawyer, Mr. Arnault has denied any wrongdoing.

Sara Danius, the first woman to be chosen as the academy’s permanent secretary (essentially, its chief administrator), severed the group’s ties with Mr. Arnault and Forum, and commissioned an investigation by a law firm. Along with sexual misconduct, Mr. Arnault has also been accused of leaking information about prize winners on numerous occasions, potentially profiting bookmakers who wage money on who will win.

Ms. Danius was not rewarded for her efforts at accountability. Several members of the academy, including some of Ms Danius’s allies, resigned in disgust over the allegations, and Ms. Danius was herself forced out from the top post, although she remains a member of the academy. (On the same day, Ms. Frostenson also stepped down.) Ms. Danius’s demotion prompted mass protests by critics who said that a woman had been scapegoated for the sexual misconduct of a man, and that Ms. Danius had been punished for trying to introduce openness and accountability to a group that preferred to close ranks.


With the academy depleted by resignations, and its secretive workings exposed to unflattering scrutiny, the Nobel Foundation, which manages the industrialist Alfred Nobel’s legacy and oversees all of the awards, stepped in to warn that the scandal risked tarnishing the prizes as a whole. “The crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize,” Carl-Henrik Heldin, chairman of the Nobel Foundation, said in a statement early Friday. He said that while the award was intended to be awarded yearly, it should be postponed when the group choosing winners had a problem “so serious that a prize decision will not be perceived as credible.”

Until Friday, the academy had insisted that it was sticking to its usual schedule, winnowing potential laureates to a shortlist by summer and anointing a prize winner in October. “But confidence in the academy from the world around us has sunk drastically in the past half year,” the acting permanent secretary, the literary scholar Anders Olsson, told Swedish Radio on Friday, “and that is the decisive reason that we are postponing the prize.”

Another member, the historian Peter Englund, wrote in an email: “I think this was a wise decision, considering both the inner turmoil of the Academy and the subsequent bloodletting of people and competence, and the general standing of the prize. Who would really care to accept this award under the current circumstances?”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/worl ... ion=Footer
John Francis

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Re: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:03 pm

Who would care to accept this award? Anyone who wants to become filthy rich from the increased sales of his or her works. What kind of pure universe do the Swedes think they live in that mere scandal on their committee makes any difference? (At first I was wondering if it had been canceled because Julian Assange was the current favorite. After Bob Dylan, there is no redemption for the Nobel in literature.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:32 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:03 pm
After Bob Dylan, there is no redemption for the Nobel in literature.
I agree, the scandal caused not the cancel. It was the Dylan factor. Giving Dylan the prize was equivalent to giving it to Shakespeare. In one stroke, that Nobel had been deprived of haute snob appeal and the bar set so high, the Nobelians couldn't find another writer that could measure up. Argal, take a break for a year or so.
Last edited by jserraglio on Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:41 am, edited 3 times in total.

John F
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Re: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

Post by John F » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:50 am

To the contrary, after the award to Bob Dylan the bar has been set so low that Ogden Nash and Judith Krantz would qualify. Nash is dead but Krantz is still alive and waiting for her phone to ring. :mrgreen:
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:53 am

John F wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:50 am
To the contrary, after the award to Bob Dylan the bar has been set so low that Ogden Nash and Judith Krantz would qualify. Nash is dead but Krantz is still alive and waiting for her phone to ring. :mrgreen:
Three huzzahs for Pearl Buck while we're at it. In the wake of the arch, pedantic outcry against a great artist last year, little wonder they cancelled.

One could argue though that the Nobel crew missed a lovely opportunity to make the antiquarians sweat and squirm yet again, something they did so well by recognizing Obama, Dylan and Lamar. They could have given the lit prize to Ottessa Moshfegh (Eileen).

I also think Dylan is a shoo-in soon for the music prize, which would make him the second person to win a Nobel a second time. Even though he modestly pleaded Don't Think Twice, It's Alright, poetic justice must be served.

John F
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Re: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

Post by John F » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:38 am

Ogden Nash on literature:

Medusa and the Mot Juste

Once there was a Greek divinity of the sea named Ceto and she married a man named Phorcus,
And the marriage must have been pretty raucous;
Their remarks about which child took after which parent must have been full of asperities,
Because they were the parents of the Gorgons, and the Graeae, and Scylla, and the dragon that guarded the apples of the Hesperides.
Bad blood somewhere.
Today the Gorgons are our topic, and as all schoolboys including you and me know,
They were three horrid sisters named Medusa and Euryale and Stheno.
But what most schoolboys don't know because they never get beyond their Silas Marners and their Hiawathas,
The Gorgons were not only monsters, they were also highly talented authors.
Medusa began it;
She wrote Forever Granite.
But soon Stheno and Euryale were writing too, and they addressed her in daily choruses,
Saying we are three literary sisters just like the Brontës so instead of Gorgons why can't we be brontësauruses?
Well, Medusa may have been mythical but she wasn't mystical,
She was selfish and egotistical.
She saw wider vistas
Than simply being the sister of her sisters.
She replied, tossing away a petrified Argonaut on whom she had chipped a molar,
You two can be what you like, but since I am the big fromage in this family, I prefer to think of myself as the Gorgon Zola.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature canceled

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:54 am

Ezra Pound on literature:

Make it new!

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