Two Nobel Prizes in Literature Awarded After 2018 ‘Scandal’

Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian author Peter Handke were awarded the Literary Nobel for 2018 and 2019.

Updated10 Oct 2019, 12:02 PM IST
2 min read

On Thursday, 10 October, the Swedish Academy announced two Nobel Laureates: Austrian author Peter Handke for 2019 and Polish author Olga Tokarczuk for the deferred 2018 award.

The two Nobel Prizes in literature were announced after the 2018 ‘scandal’ involving sexual assault allegations against Swedish cultural heavyweight, Jean-Claude Arnault, whose wife was a member of the Nobel’s selection committee. Arnault was convicted last year in two rape cases, an Associate Press report said.

According to the report, in March, the foundation behind the Nobel Prize in Literature said the Swedish Academy had ‘revamped itself’ and ‘restored trust’. The Nobel Foundation had warned that another group could be picked to award the prize if the academy didn’t improve its ‘tarnished image’.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2017 had been awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro.

Among the favourites for the literature award this year were Canadian poet Anne Carson, novelists Maryse Condé of Guadeloupe, Can Xue of China and Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, according to Associated Press. Japanese author Haruki Murakami and Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o were also among netizens’ favourites.

Critics and Literary Enthusiasts Congratulate Winners

Here’s how netizens reacted to the news:

Some Question Handke’s ‘Glorification’ of Milošević

While most were glad about the news, some also commented on Handke’s ‘glorification’ of Slobodan Milošević, the Yugoslav and Serbian politician who, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, was charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with war crimes in connection to the wars in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo.

Nobel’s ‘Diversity Problem’ Continues, Say Tweeple

A number of Twitter users pointed out Nobel’s continuing ‘diversity problem’.

The coveted Nobel Peace Prize is scheduled to be announced on Friday and the Economics award on Monday.

(With inputs from Associated Press.)

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Published: 10 Oct 2019, 11:08 AM IST

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