Swedish Academy to regroup, postpones 2018 Nobel Literature Prize

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Swedish Academy awards the Nobel Prize in Literature and has been doing so since 1901.

The Swedish Academy says it will now annouce the 2018 victor along with the 2019 victor next year, reports BBC.

In a statement, the academy said the decision "was arrived at in view of the now diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy".

The scandals have threatened to undermine the credibility of the award and attracted unprecedented scrutiny of the Academy, a highly secretive body whose choices of prize victor fascinate and often baffle literature lovers the world over.

This is the first time since 1949, that the jury which handles the world's most prestigious literary awards will not announce a victor this year, but would announce two winners in 2019.

All these resignations and expulsions have a rather unreal quality because it is impossible actually to leave under the 18th-century statutes that established the academy.

The Nobel prizes and the global attention they bring are a source of pride for Sweden and the Academy has promised to improve transparency and bring its ancient rules up to date.

In connection with its decision to postpone the prize, the Swedish Academy said it had begun a wide-ranging project to alter the way it conducted its business while still seeking to respect its historic legacy.

The crisis escalated when the academy dismissed another member, Sara Danius, as its permanent secretary, the group's chief official - the first woman to hold that post - though she remained part of the panel.

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There will be no Nobel prize for literature this year.

"We also assume that all members of the Academy realise that both its extensive reform efforts and its future organisational structure must be characterised by greater openness towards the outside world", he added.

Other recent winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature include musical artist Bob Dylan, dramatist Harold Pinter, and poet Tomas Tranströmer. "The crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize".

The Swedish Academy said that sex abuse allegations and other issues within its ranks had "tarnished" the body's reputation. Even King Carl Gustav XVI, usually as rigidly neutral in public as you'd expect a symbolic European monarch to be, has weighed in, formally denying the charge from an unnamed member of the Academy that it was he who okayed the explusion of Danius and Frostenson.

Relatives of academy members have also alleged sexual harassment by Arnault.

The scandal comes on the heels of heavy criticism the Academy received in some circles for awarding the 2016 prize to United States singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.

Two prizes for literature will be announced next year, one for 2018 and one for 2019. The prize was postponed on seven previousoccasions, six of which occurred during World War I and II. On five occasions a prize for one year has been awarded at the same time as the following year's prize.

The 2017 victor was Kazuo Ishiguro, the Japanese-born British author of "The Remains of the Day" and "Never Let Me Go".