It seems the Nobel Prize for Literature is not going to be awarded this year and was reported in the press, thus; the prize will not be awarded this year over concerns that a "crisis" in the Swedish Academy is so serious that a prize decision would not be perceived as creditable, according to the organisers. Well, that being the case it hardly seems worth bothering to finish this blog if there's no prize at the end, however I feel I owe it to you my dear reader to attempt to fill in the blanks on this "crisis."
One is quite taken aback as the last time it wasn't awarded was in 1943 and in all fairness, I think having to deal with World War Two and all that entails is a fairly decent excuse not to have to award the prize, especially as the Germans had burnt a considerable number of books, who knows if they burnt the one that would have won?
Allegedly and one has to say allegedly as no charges have been pressed at the moment but suffice to say Jean-Claude Arnault, a photographer married to one of the members is at the centre of sexual misconduct allegations.
It seems the Academy commissioned a law firm to investigate the matter and it found unacceptable behaviour in the form of unwanted intimacy from the man had occurred, but this was not generally known within the Academy and the investigation will be turned over to law enforcement agencies.
Needless to say Mr Arnault denies all allegations of sexual harassment.
Shock horror, it gets worse, brace yourselves, it seems a second scandal engulfed the prestigious institution when it emerged that names of some previous winners had been leaked in advance, which led to the resignations of Academy members Sara Darius and Katarina Frostenson, who is married to Mr Arnault.
So, unless I'm over simplifying this, a man has been accused of sexual misconduct and a separate scandal has caused the resignation of his wife and one other woman, there being no suggestion that their resignations are in any way connected with the allegation of sexual misconduct.
I'm led to believe there are some eighteen people on the judging panel, which, doing the simple maths still leaves sixteen people who might have managed to come to a decision as to who should win the prize for Literature.
I certainly hope there is considerably more to the story than the known facts at the moment for how can an allegation against one man and the resignation of two women not connected with the offence cause a further sixteen people to have been so overcome they are unable to make a decision, at least in 1943 they had a decent excuse.