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First the Frostenson and Arnault scandal, then the double award with the controversial award from Peter Handke: The Swedish Academy has had a grueling time. Now she is choosing the next Nobel Prize for Literature.
Stockholm (dpa) – After the double award last year, the Swedish Academy today proclaims the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The institution in Stockholm will announce at 1 p.m. at the earliest who will receive the award, which is worth ten million Swedish kronor (around 950,000 euros), this year. 197 nominated candidates are eligible this time. According to the academy, there are 37 among them who have been nominated for the first time.
Because the 2018 award was canceled due to a widespread scandal involving the academician Katarina Frostenson, who has since left the academy, and her husband Jean-Claude Arnault, the academy chose two winners last year. The Polish Olga Tokarczuk was subsequently named as the award winner for 2018, the Austrian Peter Handke received the award for 2019.
While Tokarczuk’s honor received a lot of support, that of Handke led to criticism and protests. The Austrian had shown strong solidarity with Serbia in the Yugoslavia conflict and, according to critics, trivialized or denied the war crimes committed by Serbs. He even gave a speech at the funeral of the ousted Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in 2006.
As always, whoever receives the Nobel Prize will be kept secret in advance. Names like those of the Canadian Margaret Atwood, the Japanese Haruki Murakami, the Kenyan Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Maryse Condé from the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe are repeatedly mentioned as favorites. Experts consider it unlikely that the award will go back to Europe after a Polish woman and an Austrian were awarded a year ago.
In the past three days, the Nobel Prize winners in the scientific categories of medicine, physics and chemistry have been announced. Among the chosen was the astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel, a German.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate will also be named on Friday, followed by the Nobel Prize for Economics on Monday, which is the only one that does not go back to the will of the prize donor and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel. On the day of his death, December 10th, the selected will be officially recognized. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this will take place in a different and much smaller setting this year.
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