The Swedish panel that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature said on Friday that it would take the extraordinary step of not naming a laureate this year - not because of a shortage of deserving writers, but because of the infighting and public outrage that have engulfed the group over a sexual abuse scandal.
Anders Olsson, the acting permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, announces that the Swedish Academy postpones the award of 2018 Nobel literature prize, during an interview to the Swedish newsagency TT News Agency, in Stockholm, Sweden.
The "crisis" within the Swedish Academy - which only hands out one of the six Nobel prizes - was triggered by abuse allegations against the husband of one of the Academy members.
Dorotea Bromberg, of Swedish publishing house Brombergs, which has published four Nobel laureates, including JM Coetzee, said the academy's postponement "was a pity", but understood the reasoning.
05 de mayo de 2018, 00:20Stockholm, May 5 (Prensa Latina) The 2018 Literature Nobel Price will be granted along with next year " s, due to a sexual scandal that is shaking the Swedish Academy, the institution informed.
In this December 11, 2011 photo, Swedish Academy member Katarina Frostenson and husband Jean Claude Arnault attend the Kings Nobel dinner at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. "We also assume that all members of the Academy realize that both its extensive reform efforts and its future organisational structure must be characterized by greater openness towards the outside world". Among the most serious of the claims is an allegation that the Academy was warned about a sexual assault at Arnault's forum in 1996, but did nothing. Sara Danius, the academy's permanent secretary, and the first woman to hold the post, cut all ties with Arnault and commissioned an independent report from an outside law firm. Some members also quit over Frostenson staying on board, per the Times.
The 2018 victor will now be announced with the 2019 victor next year.
The academy's head and Ms Frostenson also subsequently stepped down followed by a sixth member last week.
The old Stock Exchange Building, home of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on Thursday, May 3, 2018.
Last year, 18 women accused Arnault of having committed sexual assaults or harassing them, often on the property of the Swedish Academy.
"The reputation of the Nobel Prize in literature has suffered greatly from the publicity surrounding the Academy's crisis", the academy wrote.
"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", it said.
It will be the first time since wartime 1943 that the prestigious award is not handed out.
A number of members of the academy have left in protest.
This, along with accusations of conflict of interest and the leaking of Nobel winners' names, divided the organisation. Recent winners include Never Let Me Go author Kazuo Ishiguro and musician Bob Dylan. On five of those occasions, the prize was delayed then awarded at the same time as the following year's prize. For example, American playwright Eugene O'Neill was given the 1936 award in 1937.